by: Hannah Moore, Nexstar Media Wire
Posted: Sep 16, 2021 / 2:52 PM EDT / Updated: Sep 16, 2021 / 2:52 PM EDT
Thousands of Jeep owners volunteered to help move Mr. Vanderquack and his luggage from state to state for the purpose of raising money and having fun along the way.
(Photo courtesy of Lisa Unverzagt)
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) — A 20-inch plush yellow duck travels by jeep to each state to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research.
The idea came from Lisa Unverzagt as a way to combine her love for all things Jeep with their love for St. Jude’s work.
When she first posted the idea to Facebook, she said the response was huge. Thousands of Jeep owners volunteered to help move Mr. Vanderquack and his luggage from state to state for the purpose of raising money and having fun along the way.
The plan is to travel to more than 650 cities and invite people to line the streets and greet the convoy. The journey, which began in St. Louis on September 3, is expected to take more than three months.
For those wondering, “Why a duck?” Unverzagt explains that it comes from “ducking,” which she says is the custom of spreading joy and expressing appreciation for someone else’s jeep by giving a small 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 more than $20,000 and is aiming for $35,000. Donations can be made at the ‘Mr. Vanderquack Mov’n for St. Jude Jeep Convoy’ page on the St. Jude fundraising website. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of merchandise on mrvanderquack.com will also benefit the Children’s Hospital.
Mr. Vanderquack is expected to be in Tennessee in November, where the convoy will pass through towns such as Knoxville, Johnson City, Morristown and, appropriately, Ducktown.
A GPS unit is sewn into the stuffed animal to track its progress on mrvanderquack.com.
There are many ways to participate in the event. Unverzagt invites people to share the mission on social media with #MrVanderQuack and #MoveforStJude, volunteer to join the convoy going through the state and donate to St. Jude’s.
Visit mrvanderquack.com to sign up for email updates, track his route across the US, and buy merchandise. His journey can also be followed on Instagram @mrvanderquack.