Jummel Hidrosollo / Special to the Home News
Friday, Oct. 31, 2008 | midnight
For more information about the Foundation for Positively Kids, call 262-0037 or visit www.positivelykids.org.
Some lucky duck nearly became an instant millionaire — but didn't have the luck of the draw.
The Foundation for Positively Kids held its ninth annual Duck Derby on Saturday. The family event raises money for the local organization, which provides patient care to medically fragile children.
Ten thousand rubber ducks were dropped in the fountains at Town Square Las Vegas. Most had been adopted for $5 apiece. One of them could have given its owner the $1 million grand prize.
Although the duck was adopted, it wasn't plucked from the group, said Fred Schultz, founder and CEO of Positively Kids.
Still, the day was a success for the 28 people who won prizes and for the nonprofit organization and the families it helps.
The foundation raised about $48,000 from the event, including $4,700 on the day of the derby. It was more than double the previous one-day total, Schultz said.
"That tells me it was the best venue we've been at in nine years," he said.
The money will be used locally for in-home health care for children from birth to 18 years old and for medical daycare for children up to age 5.
Schultz said about 15 percent of children born in Clark County have long-term chronic disabilities.
"Our nurses might go to the home to teach mom how to do feeding or take medication or show how to suction a tracheotomy," Schultz said.
Summerlin resident Mercedes Hale-Ray is the mother of five boys between 8 and 21 years old. Her youngest, Braydon, was born with cerebral palsy with hip dysplasia. He's had 12 surgeries for a variety of different health problems.
Doctors said Braydon wouldn't live past 2 years old. But he's inquisitive and a strong swimmer who loves cartoons and Sesame Street and fights with his brothers over the television remote, Hale-Ray said.
Positively Kids connected Hale-Ray with Dream Therapies, a Silverado-based treatment center that uses horses to help children with physical, cognitive and social disabilities.
Braydon has so far avoided having bilateral hip surgery because of his progress with the equine therapy, Hale-Ray said.
The organization also provided Hale-Ray with respite care and tickets to baseball games and arcades so the family can have some fun.
The greatest gift Positively Kids gave her has been an extended family. The foundation provided her a network of parents and families with similar issues that give each other emotional support.
"Before we didn't go anywhere or do anything. Even going to the grocery store was an ordeal," Hale-Ray said. "What they showed me was we weren't the only unusual family. We fit in there. We may not everywhere else. But Positively Kids, that's where we fit in."
Jeff Pope can be reached at 990-2688 or email@example.com.