KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A 20-inch plush yellow duck is traveling by Jeep to every state as a way to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research.
The idea came from Lisa Unverzagt as a way to combine her love of all things Jeep with their love for the work of St. Jude.
When she first posted the idea on Facebook, she said the response was massive. Thousands of Jeep owners volunteered to help move Mr. Vanderquack and his luggage from state to state with the goal of raising money and joy along the journey.
The plan is to travel to over 650 cities and invite people to line the streets and greet the convoy. The journey, which began on Sept. 3 in St. Louis, is expected to take over three months.
For those who are wondering, “Why a duck?”, Unverzagt explains it comes from “ducking,” which she says is the practice of spreading joy and expressing appreciation for another person’s Jeep by leaving a little rubber duck on their vehicle.
“[Mr. Vanderquack] is very excited to meet as many friends as possible during his journey! We hope to get his luggage back with stickers, photos, and trinkets from his time on the road,” said Unverzagt.
The movement has already raised over $20,000 and aims to reach $35,000. Donations can be made on the ‘Mr. Vanderquack Mov’n for St. Jude Jeep Convoy’ page on the St. Jude fundraising website. A portion of proceeds from merchandise sales on mrvanderquack.com will also benefit the children’s hospital.
By November, Mr. Vanderquack is expected to be in Tennessee, where the convoy will go through cities including Knoxville, Johnson City, Morristown, and, fittingly, Ducktown.
A GPS unit has been sewn into the stuffed animal to track his progress on mrvanderquack.com.
There are many ways to join in with the event. Unverzagt invites people to share the mission on social media with #MrVanderQuack and #MoveforStJude, volunteer to be a part of the convoy as it goes through the state, and donate to St. Jude’s.