On this week’s Around Atlanta edition of the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio show, Richard Panyik, chair of the Rotary Club of South Gwinnett’s Duck Derby, stops by to talk to our hosts, Bryan Nonni and Todd Schnick, about the Rotary Club and its upcoming Duck Derby.

The South Gwinnett Chapter of the Rotary Club was chartered in September of 1982 and currently has 25 members, but the history of Rotary Clubs extends back to 1905. Currently, there are 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries with more than 1.2 million members!

Rotary International is a service organization that focuses on humanitarian service. It has a global reach and oftentimes, different chapters work with each other, even across the world, to achieve goals that make projects that will service local communities a success. Areas of focus for the organization include promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies.

One of the many causes that Rotary International has bought to the attention of the public was the effort to fight and eradicate Polio. In 1988, The Ride to End Polio was an initiative started by Rotary International with the original goal of raising $240 million dollars to fight the devastating disease. At that time, there were more than 200 countries that were endemic and an average of 350,000 cases of the disease per year. Now, due in large part to the initiative enacted by Rotary International, there are only two countries that are currently endemic and more than $11 billion has been raised to fight the disease.

On a local Level, the South Gwinnett Rotary Club works in the community to help and serve others in need. One of the community service projects taken on by the club involves a partnership with an elementary school in the South Gwinnett community. Rotary Club members lend support to the school through a reading program where members read to the children. The club also provides financial support to the school, conducts a career day and helps clean up school grounds. The club has also conducted a shoe project in Mexico where shoes were collected for children in need of footwear. The latest project undertaken by the club is a grant in the Dominican Republic to build and install a septic tank for a restroom located in a mission in the country.

As the South Gwinnett Rotary Club continues to take on important issues, the issue with raising money to donate and support organizations requires a bit of innovation and creativity. As Richard adds, “One of our signature fundraisers to support projects is a golf tournament, and over the years it seems like every non-profit has a golf tournament, so it’s become more of a challenge to net some real dollars off of it. So, this year we had a committee look into some options on fundraisers.”

Richard wanted to find something that everyone in the club would be able to participate in, no matter what their career path or income level. The winning choice was a Duck Derby! This will be The Rotary Club of South Gwinnett County’s first Duck Derby.

This is how the event works. Everyone who adopts a rubber duck, whether online, through mail, at a duck race booth or as a sponsoring business, is entered to win prizes if their duck or ducks win a race that will take place on the Aquatic Center’s Lazy River. The Duck Derby will be held on Sunday, Sept. 20 from 1 until 4 p.m. at the Mountain Park Aquatic Center in Stone Mountain.  Duck adoptions are $5 and are being sold now. There will also be an opportunity to adopt a duck on the day of the event. Proceeds from the race will benefit The Rotary Club of South Gwinnett County in its mission of service. The winning ducks will get their adopting human a cash prize! The first place duck wins $2,500, the second prize is $1,000 and the third prize is $500. The event will also include vendors, food trucks and various activities for attendees of all ages to enjoy.

For more information on how to adopt a duck, the Duck Derby Event, volunteering and the South Gwinnett County Rotary Club, visit www.SouthGwinnettRotary.org.


The “Around Atlanta” segment is designed to showcase the best of metro Atlanta – the communities, attractions and special events that make this city great. To submit your event, community or attraction to the Around Atlanta edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio, contact 770-383-3360.

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