Community Missions Cancels Annual Duck Raceby Andrea Gray
Community Missions' Annual Duck Race at the Canal Fest of the Tonawanda's will not go on as planned this year in light of New York State gaming laws, that have recently been brought to the attention of local non-profits, and prohibits the use of state-owned property for games of chance.
The decision to cancel the event entirely just a week prior to the start of Canal Fest did not come lightly. However, Community Missions (CMI) feels it's the right thing to do at this time.
"CMI is disappointed that we have to cancel the 2016 Duck Race", said Robyn Krueger, CMI's Executive Director. "While some have encouraged us to take a chance and hold the race anyway, we feel this would be unethical behavior, in light of the legal information; and behavior that could damage both the Canal Fest of the Tonawandas' and Community Missions' reputations."
The annual duck race was an eagerly anticipated event that has raised thousands of dollars for the agency's Crisis Services Programs. These programs include the community soup kitchen, food pantry, and emergency housing shelter. In 2015, Community Missions provided over 86,000 meals and over 10,000 nights of care to those in need throughout Niagara County. In addition, support services and residential help is provided to over 1,000 individuals with mental illness.
Community Missions is supportive and heartened by Senator Robert Ortt's resolve to introduce new legislation in 2017 that will allow this local event to continue in the future; an event which aims to provide the resources needed to continue serving and supporting the growing number of men, women, and children who come to the Mission in need. We plan to see everyone in 2017 when, with great hope, the Duck Race has successfully "floated" through the NYS Legislative process.
By The Numbers...
In 2016, Community Missions provided:
• 11,104 nights of shelter
• 89,366 meals
• 6,744 individuals with clothing
• 2,295 care days in Youth Services
• 46,888 care days in Recovery Services
• 73,994 care days in Housing Services
• 182 opportunities for Faith Development