Auburn teen refusing to 'duck' debilitating disease
By RYAN O'CONNOR
Special to the Union Leader |
August 24. 2014 8:24PM
From left, Maya Villeneuve, Laura Villeneuve, Adam Villeneuve and Jessica Trickett wave to passers-by along Chester Road, where Adam has set up a unique and successful fundraiser. (RYAN O'CONNOR/Special to the Union Leader)
AUBURN — While much of the country is getting chills over the recent ice bucket challenge to raise money and awareness for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), one Auburn resident has locals feeling positively ducky about his unique fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
With the help of many of his family members, 13-year-old Adam Villeneuve, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was four, has erected a large inflatable duck in the front yard of his Chester Road home.
“I’m trying to raise awareness for the MDA,” said Villeneuve. “So far we’ve made about $2,500 or so and I’m hoping to get to $5,000, at least.”
Villeneuve said he found the duck online and purchased it with the expressed intent of getting the attention of passers by and then selling $1 raffle tickets (or 10 tickets for $5) to win the duck, which stands at more than 6-feet tall.
He’s also selling $5 tickets for the Auburn Historical Association’s Massabesic Mallard Madness Annual 5K Trail Race and Duck Race, which takes place this year on Sept. 13. The Auburn Historical Association has agreed to donate $1 of every ticket sold to Villeneuve and his cause. At least nine other people have also agreed to the same contribution, meaning at least a $10 net contribution for each ticket sold.
Villeneuve said he’s also received a few hundred in donations from corporate sponsors.
“I would like to give back to organizations that have helped people who are fighting certain diseases,” he said. “I’ll do this again, or at least something similar.”
The 5K Massabesic Mallard Madness run takes place at 11 a.m. on Sept. 13 and the duck race commences at 2 p.m. with cash prizes ranging from $25 to $1,000. The event also includes a duck decorating contest, blues band, climbing wall, bounce house, magician, local eats and treats and an antique and classic car rally.