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homeheader2 SEASIDE®, Fla. (www.seasidefl.com), March 16, 2015—Special Olympics Florida- Walton County will be hosting a duck race from noon until 3 p.m. on Easter, April 5, in Seaside. Businesses interested in helping to sponsor the event can contact Mike Schumacher at mikeschumacher@specialolympicswalton.org. Duck adoptions are available for $5 online atwww.duckolympics.com. A duck adoption will enter a duck into the race for prizes at the event. Those purchasing ducks will not need to be present to win.   The Duck Race in Seaside is the largest fundraiser the Walton County program has tackled. An 80-foot-long lazy river will transform Seaside’s Lyceum Lawn into a Duck Pond and act as the centerpiece of the fundraising event. A 4-mph current will propel 5,000 yellow rubber ducks around the pool for prizes throughout the afternoon. Singer Reid Soria of Autism Sings will also perform at the event.   The presenting Sponsor is Duckies Shop of Fun in Seaside. “To me, just doing whatever we could for Special Olympics was a no-brainer,” said Bryan Pritchett, owner of Duckies. “Making an investment in that pool means that Special Olympics can raise money for years.”   Additional sponsors include South Walton businesses such as YOLO Board, The Donut Hole, The Beach Group, Modica Market, Davis Properties of Northwest Florida, SOFITCO, Emerald Coast Title Services, Trustmark Bank and more. YOLO Board co-owner Mitzi Archer said it’s a natural fit to work with Special Olympic athletes. “They just take to it so quickly and so easily,” she said.   Currently, 59 athletes ages 8 and up are participating in six sports including the popular paddle board program. Some of those athletes will participate in a demonstration during the event. For the athletes, any of the sports are life-changing, according to Nancy Simpler who has been involved with the program for about six years. “It teaches them sportsmanship; it teaches them what their abilities are,” Simpler said. “To see the advancement they make with these (sports)—it changes your life.”   Walton County Director Damien McNeil said they’re hopeful this event will draw people to the program. “We have an ambitious plan to double the number of athletes participating and sports offered by the end of next year,” he said.   Two years ago, a handful of people decided to revitalize the Special Olympics program in Walton County. “Easter Sunday, we’re inviting the community to see how far we’ve come during the Inaugural Duck Olympics. It’s going to be a really great family event,” said Mike Schumacher, one of the parents who led the effort to restart the program in the spring of 2013.   “We are honored to partner with our merchants and Special Olympics Florida — Walton County in this inaugural event that will help raise funds to improve the quality of life for members of our community and their families,” said Lori Leath Smith, director of public relations and marketing for Seaside Community Development Corp.     ###     About SEASIDE® Seaside, built on 80 acres on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is located on South Walton County’s Hwy. 30-A, on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. Acclaimed world-wide as one of the iconic examples of New Urbanism, Seaside offers a thriving town center with shopping and dining, all within walkable distance to homes, cottages and offices. Consisting of more than 400 homes, many of them vacation rentals, the community offers more than 12 restaurants and eateries, and 41 shops and galleries.   Seaside is currently being featured on the Cooking Channel’s Emeril’s Florida, was just named “2015 Best Family Beach” from the Travel Channel, was recently named the “Best Beach on Earth” for families by Travel + Leisure magazine and included in USA Today’s “Top 10 Best Beach Towns in Florida (2013) by “Dr. Beach.” The holiday town was also the primary filming location of the classic movie “The Truman Show.”   Seaside is a prominent topic in architectural schools and in housing-industry magazines, is visited by design professionals from throughout the United States, and is included in the American Institute of Architects (Florida chapter) list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years 100 Places.   For more information, visit www.seasidefl.com or email lsmith@seasidefl.com.

Special Olympics Florida: Walton County Will Hold Duck Race Fundraiser on Easter Sunday in SEASIDE®

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