And the race began-- two very cute life-size yellow duck mascots poured hundreds of little rubber ducky toy ducks into the historic Andre Brook at Patriots Park in Tarrytown on Saturday April 28, for the start of the Fifth Annual Rubber Ducky Derby and YMCA Healthy Kids Day. The Tarrytown Fire Department worked hard to get their 'ducks in a row' as they created the water system operation to propel the ducks down the Andre' Brook in Patriots Park. helped them race towards the finish line by pumping water from the fire trucks. The popular event attracts hundreds of local families and each year it's expanding. The Tarrytown Rotary Club raises money for their organization and all funds go back to the community in the form of grants and scholarships. This year, the derby was dedicated in memory of the late Tarrytown Fire Chief, Joseph F. McCarthy who passed away on November 5, 2011. Clarice Pollack is the late fire chief Joseph McCarthy's sister. She said that he was being honored not only because of his commitment to the Tarrytown Fire Department, but he also set up the dam to get the water flowing to make the ducks float downstream. "It's a wonderful that Joe is being honored; if he is looking down as us, I'm sure he's embarrassed by all this attention... He never looked for attention for anything so, he's probably wondering what all the fuss is about today," Pollack told Sleepy Hollow-Tarrytown News. "I've been here every year I'm an associate member of the fire department because my brother was always involved." The competition included six qualifying trials and one final race with a grand prize of a $1,000 AMEX gift card. Residents adopted ducks from the Rotary Club that costs anywhere from $10 a head, $50 for a six-quack and $100 for a bakers dozen. Captain Kelly Murphy of Hope Hose Company No. 1 was one of the members of the Tarrytown Fire Department responsible for filling the stream with water so that the ducks can race toward the finish line. "It's a lot of work but over the years with the help of Joey and a couple other members we have learned different things to help make better dams to build up the water and make the water flow a lot better. Joey loved doing this he loved helping his community and helping people in general—even if it was a random person on the street he was always there and we really appreciate the Rotary Club doing this in his memory," Murphy said. The Tarrytown YMCA combined their event with the Duck Derby. Their mission is to raise funds and awareness with a variety of activities as part of their Healthy Kids Day. Barbara Turk is the vice president of marketing and community development at the Tarrytown YMCA. They were the primary sponsors of Healthy Kids Day. "We have a lot of sponsors, including Met Life, Citibank, Dannon, and we've had more vendors than we ever had this year and the traffic is amazing, one of our newest additions this year is Rock Island Sound. They provided all the sound systems for the youth and we are also collaborating with them on a summer camp this year—" explained Turk. Dr. Howard Smith, the school superintendent has been the 'Chief' Duck Catcher for all the Duck Derbys. "A couple of the Rotary Club members came up with the duck race. It's a great idea! Somehow, I got drafted as the 'Chief Duck Catcher" I've been here every year happily snagging the first duck to the finish line and it's been great to see the whole event grow in ways that attract a huge cross-section of our community—kids from all over the villages and their parents love it." Dr. Howard Smith said. Nicole, a member of the marketing crew at Sam's Club in Elmsford, set up a booth and is a strong supporter of the Rotary Duck Derby. "We're here to donate our great services of Sam's Club and give out gift cards from $10-25 dollars for those that do sign up. ." The event rose close to $1,700, which topped last year's. Thanks to community support and the lovely weather.