On Saturday 8 June, Estonia's largest charity campaign culminated with a duck race that broke a number of records: the highest ever number of rubber ducks (15,200) raced through the canals of Kadriorg Park, raising the unprecedented amount of 261,849 euros in support of children diagnosed with cancer and their families..
The sixth race in the series was organised by the Estonian Association of Parents of Children with Cancer (EAPCC) with the charity foundation Minu Unistuste Päev (‘My Dream Day’) and the 'Gift of Life' Cancer Treatment Foundation.
Nearly 200 Estonian companies and 150 volunteers contributed to the race in different ways. Thousands of people from Estonia got involved in the race and supported children with cancer.
“We’re delighted that the number of supporters is increasing every year,” said Kaili Lellep, a member of the management board of the EAPCC. “There are more and more people who have the desire in their hearts to do good and support those weaker than themselves. The race is an opportunity to solve some of the problems children with cancer face through a positive and entertaining event that can only be experienced once a year. We thank all of our supporters, big and little alike!."
The race day was filled with exciting activities organised by Kristiina Gabor-Mägi, the CEO of ‘My Dream Day’, who said: “The team at our foundation are sincerely grateful to all of the kind benefactors, partners, volunteers and media who contributed to the race, which was the most successful of all time. We feel like a true dream team has been created through the synergy of the three charity foundations, with whom it will be a great pleasure and honour to organise the duck race again in the future."
"Together we’ve ensured that young cancer patients get the vital treatment and basic support services they need," said Toivo Tänavsuu, the director of ‘The Gift of Life’. “No one should be deprived of treatment just because the Health Insurance Fund is not currently compensating it. The higher amount raised during the race also suggests that Estonian society is recovering and becoming more connected: charity is becoming more popular here.”
Rally driver Ott Tänak's duck also competed in this year's race. While it did not finish on the podium, it was sold for 500 euros at auction. The largest donation from a single individual was 2500 euros.
Politician Urmas Paet's duck won the race. The main prize was a family trip to Astrid Lindgren's World in Sweden, sponsored by Laevapiletid.ee. However, Paet donated the prize to the ‘My Dream Day’ team, who will be sending a young cancer patient and their family on the trip instead.
A total of 100 sponsors' gifts were given out as consolation prizes between the owners of the race ducks. For example, the laziest duck received a night for the whole family in a suite at the Tallink Riga Hotel. Go to www.pardiralli.ee to see if your duck won a prize.
Two-thirds of the money raised as part of this year's race will go to the EAPCC, who will be financing the work of the support centre for children with cancer and their families near Tallinn Children's Hospital and Tartu University Hospital and also the treatment of children, where necessary. The remaining third of the amount will be divided up between ‘The Gift of Life’ and ‘My Dream Day’ – the former financing cancer treatment that is not compensated by the Health Insurance Fund, and the latter fulfilling the dreams of severely or chronically ill children to sustain their faith, hope and spiritual power so that they can keep coping through the long journey of their illness.