Royal Dutch Navy Commander (Cdr) Robbert Jurriansen who is currently employed at NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway, is raising money for the Dutch charity foundation KiKa (Kinderen Kankervrij, or, Children Cancer-Free) to support research in the fight against childhood cancer.
As part of the charity fundraiser, he organized a rubber duck race, which was held on Saturday, June 16th, in the historic fjord of Hafrsfjorsd. For the last two weeks, those who wanted to raise money for charity and join the fun race have “adopted” one of the numbered rubber ducks sold by Cdr Jurriansen. On the day of the race, they showed up in Hafrsfjorsd, each hoping and motivated to be the winner.
Cdr Jurriansen, who is recovering from cancer surgery, welcomed the participants and said he was overwhelmed by the generosity and enthusiasm to buy the rubber ducks. “175 ducks were sold in two weeks, which resulted in a donation of 7,600 NOK. Thank you, once again, for your warm contributions,” he said and highlighted KiKa’s determination to beat childhood cancer. “There is still a lot of work to be done and this can’t happen without our support,” Cdr Jurriansen added.
Speaking on the occasion, French Army Major General Jean Fred Berger, Commander Joint Warfare Centre, said that he saw the event as a ”very positive initiative” since its noble purpose was to save lives by helping raise money for cancer research. “This is our commitment to the children. Today’s race is amusing however, besides all the fun, we are all taking part in an important fundraising initiative that aims to give hope in the fight against childhood cancer,” the General said.
The flock of rubber ducks hit the water at 10:00 hrs amidst enthusiastic cheers of the spectators and they started racing down in the strong current toward the finish line. Just seconds after, the ducks proved they could swim rain or shine, because almost as soon as the race started, it also started to rain; first it was a light drizzle, but soon the rain was pouring down with strong gusts of wind. Despite all the motivated cheers, some ducks didn’t float well and some were trapped in branches or rocks, some started to swim backwards, and some flipped upside down, however, approximately four minutes after the race began, it was announced that Cdr Morten Dalberg’s rubber duck won the race and the prize of 525 NOK! At the end of the fundraising event, Cdr Jurriansen thanked all who participated and showed their support by fundraising. “I am very happy to be here and to be part of this great community,” he added.
Running for charity
In order to urge charity donations, Cdr Jurriansen is running the Stavanger Marathon on 1 September and the New York Marathon on 4 November this year.
“I will take part in these marathons to raise money and awareness of childhood cancer. Chances for recovery from childhood cancer are now 75 percent. KiKa’s goal is to increase this to 95 percent by 2025. As I said earlier, a lot of research is still needed to achieve this.”
As an example, the New York Marathon route includes Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan. According to the official website, more than two million spectators will crowd the sidelines.
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