Oma's Heart, a charitable organization that offers low-income parents the ability to provide Christmas presents for their children, will hold one of its biggest fundraisers at the Shell Factory on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The annual "Duck-Pluck" event will be held from noon to 3 p.m., and will feature food, games, prizes and Santa, who will be in his motorboat with hundreds of ducks in the Shell Factory lake.
It is part of a very busy day for the Shell Factory which, at the same time, will be hosting Special Olympians.
All funds raised from the event goes toward the Oma's Heart Toy Store, which will be open at Christmas time for children in North Fort Myers and Cape Coral whose parents cannot afford Christmas presents for their children.
Santa will ride into the lake and pluck ducks for great prizes such as a trip for four to Disney World, tickets for a Dolphin Cruise and other prizes.
More than 500 ducks have been purchased and you can continue to purchase them until the event itself.
The event will also feature carnival games and a scavenger hunt for the kids, and is guaranteed to be a family-fun event, Barczek said.
"If you're looking for something to do with the kids, come to the Shell Factory and have fun with us," Barczek said.
The cost is $5 per duck, with six costing $25, 12 worth $50 and 25 ducks costing $100.
Every $25 donation sponsors one more child.
The organization has grown in the three years it's been in existence, thanks to exposure in the media and word-of-mouth, according to Susan Barczek, board member of Oma's Heart.
Last year, more than 1,000 children received gifts through the toy store. Parents who wish to be helped by Oma's Heart needs to pick up a voucher to register their child so the organization can help make it an experience.
Santa comes to the store, and Home Depot provides materials for children to build birdhouses and other things, Barczek said.
Rick Tupper, marketing director at the Shell Factory, expects several hundred people to come to the event.
"We're excited to have them. They're helping families get back on their feet and also help the adults by providing job opportunities so they can get out of the rut," Shell Factory owner Pam Cronin said.
The mission statement for Oma's Heart is to offer parents the ability to provide Christmas gifts for their children, with the help of volunteers who have the desire to obtain and supply cost-free merchandise, renewing Christmas spirit in parents through a financially difficult time.
For more information, contact them at their website: www.omasheart.org.
As for the Special Olympians, Tupper said it is something the Shell Factory decided to do as a way to support the community and to thank a customer for a big donation.
Thirty Olympians and 25 chaperones will go in the store, have lunch and tour the Nature Park.