KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A 20-inch plush yellow duck is traveling to every state as a way to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research. The idea came from Liza 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 Jeep owners volunteered to help move Mr. Vanderquack, and his luggage 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 convey. The journey began on September 3, 2021, in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to take over three months.
The movement has already raised over $20,000 and now 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.
Mr. Vanderquack is expected to be in Tennessee in November. The convey will go through a number of cities including Knoxville, Johnson City, Morristown and Ducktown.
A GPS unit has been sewn into the stuffed animal so you can track his progress on mrvanderquack.com.
For those of you 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 Lisa Unverzagt.
There are many ways to join in with the event. Unverzagt invites people to share the mission on social media with #MrVanderQuack and #MoveforStJude, volunteering to be a part of the convoy as it goes through your state and donate to St. Jude’s.
Visit mrvanderquack.com to sign up for email update, track his route across the U.S. and purchase merchandise. You can also follow the journey on Instagram @mrvanderquack.