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PHC holds its first annual “Duck Race,” with added “Duck Dash”

PHC holds its first annual “Duck Race,” with added “Duck Dash”


Tickets for the Duck Race were sold in advance. Each ticket-holder received a number that corresponded to a rubber ducky that was placed in the water park’s lazy river in a hotly contested race for the finish line. A total of 529 rubber duckies competed, with the winning duck belonging to Natalie Sparkman, finance project manager at PHC. Natalie won a large prize package worth over $1,500.

In addition, four good-natured hospital dignitaries agreed to race one another – in the lazy river – in front of a crowd – and yes, riding on huge yellow rubber duckies. Employees and friends were able to donate to their choice of “collection jars” in advance to decide who should race whom. Those contending for the dash included Tom Karl, president, PHC, Barbi Karl, VP, BJC Behavioral Health Services, Cheri Goldsmith, director of finance at PHC and Heather Taliafero, vice president, patient care services and chief nursing officer at PHC. As it turned out, Tom, who is a VERY good sport, and Barbi, who is also a very good sport AND Tom’s wife, were selected to face off in the first ever PHC Foundation Duck Dash. Foundation Coordinator Carla Crocker described the race as follows, “It started out as a close race, but Barbi pulled ahead around the first turn, winning the First Annual Quacktastic Duck Trophy!” In keeping with the spirit of the fun evening, Cheri and Heather agreed to race each other just for fun. 

“The event raised over $3,000,” said Crocker. “What a great start to the Foundation’s campaign to raise funds for the enhancement of the labor and delivery department!”

The PHC Foundation chose Parkland’s labor and delivery department as a fund-raising project in order to assist the hospital in implementing a plan to renovate and update the department and add important medical equipment. The Foundation has committed $245,000 to the project.

Parkland’s labor and delivery department delivered 614 babies in 2018. The department underwent a state-of-the-art remodeling project in 2004 and was later expanded to add six private rooms in 2008. The department currently has included five fully-equipped birthing rooms, four semi-private rooms and six private rooms.

Since 2015, Parkland has had the only labor and delivery department in St. Francois County. Offering families in the community the best possible experience for the most important event of their life – the delivery of their baby -- is a high priority and the Foundation recognizes the need to update and enhance the department.

The next Foundation fund-raising event to benefit the enhancement of Parkland’s labor and delivery department will be held October 5 at Weingarten Vineyard. The Foundation B.A.S.H. (Building a Superior Hospital) will include a delicious meal catered by Weingarten Vineyard plus music, games, wagon rides and more. 

The Parkland Health Center Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that was established in 2009. Its mission is to secure philanthropic support to enhance Parkland’s ability to provide excellent care with great compassion. Those interested in more information about the Foundation may contact Carla Crocker, coordinator, at 573-760-8523 or

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Parkland Health Center
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Bonne Terre, Missouri 63628
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Farmington, Missouri 63640
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