Duck Race Raises Funds for Cancer

Duck Race Raises Funds for Cancer

More than $6,500 raised for Susan G. Komen Foundation

In a race that went down to the wire, Karen Gleason’s yellow duck came from behind and edged out Randy Fraysher’s blue duck to win the EDS Duck Race for the Cure last Friday, May 17 at the pond at the EDS regional headquarters.

While prizes were awarded to the owners of the first five finishers in the duck race, using plastic ducks, the true winners are the people who can benefit from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a foundation raising money to find a cure for breast cancer.

The duck race was the creation of EDS U.S. government solutions and communications employee Vicki Adamson of Dulles, a 19-year veteran with the company and a five-year breast cancer survivor. For her fifth anniversary as a survivor, Adamson’s co-workers surprised her with a silver heart bracelet with the date Dec. 7, 2001 engraved on it. "They’ve been a wonderful support group," said Adamson.

Adamson also won an award from the Komen Foundation for creative fundraising in 2001 for the first year of the duck race. Last year about 325 ducks took to the EDS pond, raising just over $1,600. This year, with 605 ducks in the EDS pond, over $6,500 was raised to benefit the Komen Foundation. "All the money is for the Susan G. Komen Foundation," said Adamson. Part of the money also came from the outdoor grilled lunch that employees bought as a way to support the foundation — lunch that was provided by Aramark Catering.

"Being here as long as I have, people here are so generous and have risen to the occasion. We raise money for other charities as well," said Adamson.

Adamson is not just participating in the upcoming National Race for the Cure in Washington, with an EDS team, but also the Relay for Life walk at Potomac Falls High School for the American Cancer Society. Her mother died of Leukemia, she said.

THE NATIONAL RACE for the Cure will be held Saturday, June 1, said M.P. Gay, teams director for the National Race for the Cure, who was on hand last Friday at EDS. "This is phenomenal to see the enthusiasm. Fundraising is difficult, but made fun with an event like this," said Gay, an Arlington resident.

"I’m doing this to show people that something may be dealt to us in our lives that we may not know how to get through the next five minutes. I’m proof that you can endure and that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I do this to help find cures so other individuals might not have to go through it. This is good for morale," said Adamson. "We’re outdoors, it’s beautiful, we’re eating outside — we usually eat in the cafeteria," she said.

"My mother had breast cancer and has been in remission for five years," said five-year EDS contract administrator Lalida Benjanak of Fairfax. "This is important. I like to be somewhere where I can help support the cause. I know the impact it had on my family," she said.

"IT’S A GOOD CAUSE and it’s fun to participate in a duck race," said five-year systems administrator with EDS Charles Turner of Centreville. Turner, having no one close to him affected by cancer said, "it’s just a good cause."

"I bought 13 ducks — my mom’s lucky number — and she’s a survivor," said EDS network design analyst Eddie Albert of Alexandria who lost an aunt to breast cancer. "I like the whole idea of EDS getting involved with a charitable organization. I have a vested interest in this," said Albert, estimating that he donated about $120 between the ducks, lunch and raffle tickets for a Dell laptop computer.

Although Albert walked away with no prizes, the Komen Foundation did benefit. The National Race for the Cure is on Saturday, June 1. People may still register for the race on line at or in person at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW on Thursday, May 30 or Friday, May 31 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The cost is $30. The race itself begins at two locations depending on whether one is walking or running. Runners need to be at 12th and Constitution by 8:30 a.m. and walkers need to be at 15th and Constitution by 8:45 a.m.