Mr. Vanderquack visits Outer Banks to raise money for St. Jude

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Mr. Vanderquack, a two-foot tall stuffed duck, arrived on the Outer Banks Thursday afternoon via Jeep convoy to raise awareness and money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Last summer, Lisa Unverzagt posted on the I Love Jeeps Facebook group her idea to pass the duck through all 50 states and track his travels with a GPS sewn inside. What began with several hundred volunteers quickly turned into several thousand, and Mr. Vanderquack’s travels have contributed to more than $60,000 raised. The goal for the fundraiser is $100,000 and with 19 states more to hit, it’s looking likely that the stuffed duck will meet his goal.

His journey started on September 3, 2021 from St. Louis and when the route is complete he will have traveled over 50,000 miles across America, completely under the watchful care of Jeep clubs.

While on the Outer Banks, Mr. Vanderquack was in the care of Jeep owner Beth Behrenhauser. She took the duck to all the greatest attractions like Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Jennette’s Pier, the Wright Memorial – where he was sworn in as a junior ranger – and, of course, the Town of Duck. He visited police officers and firefighters, and made a stop at Kitty Hawk Kites. He was even a featured guest on 96.7 The Coast to raise awareness about St. Jude Research and encourage donations.

For Behrenhauser, raising money for cancer feels personal. “I watched my dad and grandma suffer with cancer,” she said. “I don’t think anyone should have to worry about money when your child is suffering.”

When a family is accepted into St. Jude Children’s Hospital, all medical costs are covered, including travel, food and lodging – they never receive a bill for care. Thanks to innovative treatments over the last 50 years, St. Jude has helped to increase the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80%.

Donations slowed around Christmas season and founder Unverzagt is hoping things will pick back up as the stuffed duck travels through North Carolina. For more information about Mr. Vanderquack’s travels, or to purchase t-shirts or stickers, visit www.mrvanderquack.com. Those who wish to donate can also access the fundraising link via the above website (yellow bar at top of webpage and also here), which links directly to the St. Jude Fundraising page.

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