During the Wilton Fire Department‘s National Fire Prevention Month-visit to the Community Nursery School of Wilton (CNSW) on Thursday, Oct. 20, students from the 4s class presented firefighters John Krozer and Brian Montgomery with a check. The donation came from a portion of the proceeds from Wilton’s first annual Duck Dash sponsored by the preschool and held at Merwin Meadows on Saturday, Sept. 24.

The event saw over 500 rubber ducks make their way across the pond, with an assist from the fire department’s pumper truck. There was even some unusual excitement for the Duck Dash’s first year–the WFD was called away on an emergency mid-race, so a CNSW alum (class of 2007) and a friend jumped into the pond to finish what the firefighters had started. In all, ten race winners took home prizes valued at roughly $1,200 and the day—complete with an inflatable obstacle course, carnival games, a face painter for the kids and food trucks and music for everybody—was a splashing success.

Event chair Kerry Ray says that CNSW credits that success, in part, to local support.

“It was wonderful to have so many local businesses behind us from the start. We couldn’t have done it without them,” she says. For those who missed this year’s race, plans are already being floated for the second annual Duck Dash next September.

Having the children be such active participants both in the race and in the final donation was key to the event as something that fit into the school’s mission. Seeing itself as a true part of the community–the ‘C’ part of the school’s very name–it’s something the school actively promotes, as giving back to Wilton while providing excellent foundation for the town’s youngest citizens has been integral to its mission since the school’s founding in 1938.

“Located in the heart of Wilton center, we’ve always thought of ourselves as the town’s nursery school. Our curriculum of playful learning, roots children in their community. It just seems natural to give back, and to have fun in our own town,” says Mary Ann Putman, the school’s director.

Local sponsors who helped make the event possible include:  Wilton Hardware, Au Pair in America, Shaolin Studios, Karen Seelert Photography, Wilton Pizza, Village Market, Conservatory of Dance, Ellen Lieberman Financial Representative, Wilton Deli, Pinocchio Pizza, College Creamery, Tusk & Cup and Road Grub Mobile.