A fun festive day at Little Lake!

V.I.P. Tots hosts 10th annual fundraiser on Little Lake in Hemet!

Photos by Elyse Askari/The Valley Chronicle
Crowds gathered at V.I.P. Tots’ 10th annual fundraiser on April 22 in support of the local child development center.

■ By Elyse Askari / Reporter

There was quite the buzz at Little Lake in Hemet on the afternoon of Saturday, April 22nd as crowds of supporters gathered together for V.I.P. Tots’ 10th Annual Fundraiser under the mighty willow trees that grow on quaint Little Lake. Families took to the shade and looked out onto the water, while kids laughed and played on its shore. Carnival games, bounce houses, festival food and fun were available for participants to enjoy, and enjoy it they did. From one end of the lake to the other, the music was booming and even the fish seemed to have a good time.

2,269 Ducks in all hit the water at Little Lake, representing the support of many participants who adopted each for V.I.P. Tots.

The highlight of the event was the Duck Race, which began promptly at 1:17 p.m. Donations were made by adopting a rubber duck for $5, and almost 2,270 ducks hit the water, with the crowd cheering all the while.
“This money is so important,” said Dee Cozart, president of the board of directors at V.I.P. Tots, “because we can use it for what we need.”

Donations were made by adopting a rubber duck for $5, and almost 2,270 ducks hit the water, with the crowd cheering all the while.”


V.I.P. Tots is a childcare and development facility located in Hemet for kids from 18 months old to 6 years old. They provide services for children both with and without disabilities, which identifies the program as cut from a rare mold here in the San Jacinto Valley. Cozart passionately emphasized just how important this fundraiser was for V.I.P. Tots, and thanked all of the donors fervently for supporting both the event and the program, of which there were a number of major business and family contributions.

Jackie (left) and McKenzie (right) are seen here posing by the water of Little Lake; McKenzie showing off her apparent love of ducks!

The V.I.P Tots’ Duck Race fundraiser seemed to be a success in both its income and its experience for participants. Families and supporters who gathered that day enjoyed cool weather on the lake and a picturesque view of the water; many took advantage of the photo-op and snapped pictures with the real life ducks who waded nearby the shore.
One supporter, McKenzie, was so enthusiastic about the birds that she sported her own duck attire in the form of a hat. The Duck Race had everyone on their feet and gazing out at the lake as the thousands of rubber ducks took to the water, and although the official winner of the race was left uncertain, it was clear that V.I.P. Tots was the true winner, and that this cause was widely supported by the community.

Mario (bottom) and his nephew Joseph (top) spent their Saturday afternoon at Little Lake with the crowd of supporters that joined in V.I.P. Tots’ 10th annual fundraiser.

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