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Rubber Ducky Festival To Honor Olympians

The city of Santa Clarita will honor local 2012 Olympic athletes Alysia Montaño, Lashinda Demus, David Smith and Anthony Ervin at Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers’ 10th Annual Rubber Ducky Festival on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Montaño, Demus, Smith, and Ervin will be honored by the City of Santa Clarita and presented with a ceremonial Key to the City in honor of their accomplishments.

The Festival takes place at Bridgeport Park on Newhall Ranch Road in Valencia from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Olympic athlete ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. All Santa Clarita-based 2012 Olympic athletes have been invited to participate.

Montaño was raised in Santa Clarita and began her athletic career at a young age. The first–time Olympian and 2004 Canyon High School graduate ran the 800-meter dash and clocked 2:00.47 in Track and Field at the preliminaries in the Olympic Stadium, giving her the fastest qualifying time. Montaño placed fifth overall for the women’s 800-meter. This year, Montaño claimed first place at DecaNation, fifth place at the Olympic Games, third place at   Monaco, first place at the Olympic Trials, and another first place at the Pre Classic.

David Smith

Lashinda Demus, won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games in the 400-meter hurdles in 52:77. Demus is an assistant track coach at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita. She holds the American record and this year achieved second place at the Olympic Games, second place at Monaco, first place at the Olympic Trials, second place in Rome, sixth place at Ostrava, and seventh place at the Oxy Invite 800-meter.

A 2003 graduate from Saugus High School, Smith took an interest in both volleyball and soccer. Making the national men’s volleyball team in 2009, Smith continued his career as a middle blocker. He played as a substitute on the 2012 men’s Olympic Volleyball team in London, and finished with eight points on five kills, one block, and two aces. As Smith continues playing with his team overseas, parents Rick and Nancy Smith will attend the event on his behalf.

Anthony Ervin

Swimmer Anthony Ervin represented the United States of America at the 2012 London Olympic Games in swimming’s  50 meter Freestyle event. After moving through preliminary and semi-final rounds, Ervin clocked 21.78 and finished in fifth place overall. He also competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 50 meter Freestyle and the 4×100 Freestyle Relay. Besides swimming, Ervin enjoys travelling, music, and higher education by is also pursuing a master’s degree from UC Berkeley.

The annual Rubber Ducky Festival, also known as the Rubber Ducky Regatta, is SDFHC’s signature fundraising event providing patient care funding throughout the year. This year’s grand prize is a $2,500 gift certificate for Southwest Airlines travel; several other prizes will be available on the day of the race. Race ducks for this year’s event are available for adoption in advance of the race online at www.duckrace.com/scv.

Rubber ducks start at $5 per duck, making the event affordable for everyone. Other adoption opportunities include: Quack Family (five ducks plus one free duck for $25); Quacker’s Dozen (10 ducks plus two free ducks for $50) and Duck Flock (20 ducks plus four free ducks for $100).

Lashinda Demus

In addition to games, vendor booths and the Olympic athlete ceremony, the event features free admission, ample parking, gourmet food trucks, activities and entertainment. The fun-filled family festival features rubber ducky regatta races beginning at 12:00 p.m. Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich serves as this year’s Honorary Chairman. City of Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Bob Kellar  and Janice Murray, host of the Non-Profit Spotlight show on KHTS AM-1220, co-host the event as Masters of Ceremonies. CBS/KCAL news anchor Sandra Mitchell returns as the celebrity guest. Matt Gunderman with Boston Scientific serves as chairman of the Rubber Ducky Festival Committee.

All proceeds from this event go toward patient care at SDFHC, which offers affordable, quality primary health care for residents of the Santa Clarita Valley. SDFHC makes a special effort to serve the uninsured and underinsured.

SDFHC thanks sponsors of this year’s event: Boston Scientific, SCV Rotary, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Point of View Communications, SOS Entertainment, C.A. Rasmussen Inc, and Hands On Santa Clarita, with special thanks to Andel Engineering, and Burrtec Waste Industries. Media partners for this year’s event include:  The Signal; The Magazine of Santa Clarita  andelite Magazine;  Santa Clarita Living Magazine and Canyon Country Magazine; SCVTV; KHTS AM 1220; Smart Shopper; Inside SCV Magazine; Our Valleys Magazine and Edwards Outdoor Advertising.

SDFHC operates three health centers in the Santa Clarita Valley—Canyon Country Health Center, Val Verde Health Center and Newhall Health Center—as well as outreach sites at College of the Canyons and California Institute of the Arts. SDFHC offers a full range of health care services—physicals, immunizations and vaccines, screenings and diagnostic tests, well baby care, and family planning—to those who may not seek health care elsewhere. Patients pay based on their income. This past year, SDFHC provided service for 11,000 patient visits.

About Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers, Inc.
SDFHC was established in 1980 and named for long-time Val Verde resident and minister, the late Reverend Samuel Dixon.  As the only non-profit health center founded and based in the Santa Clarita Valley, SDFHC serves the greater Santa Clarita Valley and is governed by a board of directors, all of whom are Santa Clarita residents. The mission of SDFHC is to enhance wellness by providing quality primary health care services and health education to unserved and underserved residents, with a special emphasis on serving the uninsured. Easily accessible services are available for the entire family in both English and Spanish. Medi-Cal, Blue Cross and Healthy Families are all accepted, and a sliding fee scale is offered, keeping health care affordable for all. SDFHC is supported by countless individuals as well as corporate sponsors who help make affordable health care possible. Tax-deductible contributions are welcome. Health services are available at the Val  Verde  Health  Center (661-257-4008), the  CanyonCountry  Health  Center  (661-424-1220) and the  Newhall  Health  Center (661-291-1777).