LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – The West Georgia Duck Derby, hosted by the Calumet Center for Healing and Attachment, captured the innocence of children. It gave them opportunities to meet others, play games and get their faces painted. Parents could also take the “Don’t Duck the Problem” pledge, pledging to have conversations with their children about living a drug free life.

Calumet Center for Healing and Attachment is a counseling center that helps women overcome substance abuse and reunites them with their children. They also have an outreach program that provides mental health services for the entire community.

“What’s remarkable is the biggest feedback you can get is the smile on their face. When I see these kids out here and when they’re interacting with other kids and they have a smile on their face, there’s joy. I can remember when they didn’t and when they didn’t interact with kids. So for me the biggest feedback is just knowing that the kids are able to interact with other people and have a good time. That’s why I do what I do,” said Kevin Goodson, Coordinator for the West Georgia Duck Derby.

Goodson said the feedback from the community has been extremely positive and there has been a lot of support from volunteers. He can’t wait to see the event grow over the years.

Attendees had the opportunity to buy rubber ducks for $5. The derby included 5,000 ducks and the winner received $2,500. All the money raised will provide services for the women and children in the recovery support program and the outreach program.

One member, Miki Poling, is receiving counseling along with her son for a learning disability. She said the center taught her to better herself and taught her son how to communicate more effectively.

“I just want to say thank you so much for helping me even realize the things I didn’t know about myself. That I needed to get help with and emotional support on, because of that I’ve been able to be a better parent to my kids,” said Poling.