Chuck the duck joins cancer fightPublished 4:46pm Tuesday, June 25, 2013
A Niles teenager is using a duck named Chuck to raise some bucks for a good cause.
Ele Hein, a member of the Country Trailblazers 4-H Club, said she would donate the money she makes auctioning her market duck at this year’s Cass County Fair to the American Cancer Society.
Hein, 16, named the duck after her grandfather, Chuck Leenknecht, who died of lung cancer on Father’s Day in 1996, about a month before Hein was born.
“I only know him through the stories I’ve heard other people tell,” said Hein, a Niles High School senior. “I want this money to go toward finding a cure. Every little bit helps.”
Since getting the duck in early May, Hein said she’s been working hard to get it ready for the fair, which runs July 28 through Aug. 3. She feeds the duck, makes sure it has fresh water and even filled a kiddy pool with water so Chuck could swim.
“I’m taking good care of him,” she said.
Market animals, like Chuck, are auctioned off to the highest bidder at the end of the Cass County Youth Fair. This year’s auction starts at 9 a.m. Aug. 3.
Hein said 4-Hers usually put money made at the auction toward a college fund.
“I thought giving it to cancer research would be a good idea,” said Hein, who hopes to raise $500.
The highest bidder at the auction will take possession of Chuck, possibly for slaughter. Hein said it isn’t unusual for the bidder to allow the duck to remain with its handler.
“I don’t know what will happen, but I am kind of growing attached to him,” Hein said. “I hope he will live.”
Chuck the Duck will make an appearance at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life event July 20 at Niles High School.
Hein said she is accepting donations in advance of the auction. For more information, or to donate, send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow Chuck the duck on Twitter at @chucktheduck13.