Everyone knows the tale of the goose that laid the golden egg. As a conduit to wealth, at least in that legend, geese seem to get plenty of respect. Running far behind are ducks. In real life, they're the dopey birds that float on water but can barely fly. At a park, they're the animals you don't feel too guilty flinging chunks of nutritionally devoid white bread at. In cartoons they're often depicted as angry, caustic creatures. Just think of temperamental Donald and diabolical Daffy. The only time the ducks seem to catch a break is in the bathtub. Oh yeah, when you're naked and reveling in bubbles, suddenly you're powerless against the charms of a little yellow rubber duck. Squeak! Squeak! You dunk it under water, watch it float around, croon that "Rubber Duckie" song to it. The wee critter makes you a little kid all over again.
The folks at the Victim Services Center are well acquainted with the transformative powers of a yellow rubber duck. The 8-year-old organization devoted to helping folks of any age get over traumas such as physical or sexual assault, domestic violence, home invasion, or the murder of a loved one will be harnessing duck power to raise awareness of their work and raise some money.
Taking off at noon, the Million-Dollar Duck Race will feature thousands of rubber ducks unleashed on the Miami River. Of course, it is a race, meaning prizes -- good prizes -- will be awarded. Three ducks out of 10,000 will be designated million-dollar ducks. Those ducks' numbers will be sealed in an envelope. If Ol' Quacky crosses the finish line 5th, you're a lucky duck: You win a 20-year, million-dollar annuity! Not bad for a 5-buck investment in a little yellow piece of rubber. Now who doesn't get any respect? -- By Nina Korman
The Million-Dollar Duck Race runs from noon to 3:00 p.m. at the Mahi Jury Parking Lot, 1480 NW North River Dr. A $5 charitable donation is requested for each duck adoption. Call 305-374-9990 or see www.quackquack.us for details.
"Our dream is to have a school and teach what we know to whoever in the community shows the same passion we put in every time we get together. It doesn't matter if it is a kid or a grownup," says Cuban artist and Arte del Barrio press agent Aimee Ortiz. Coincidentally named "Dreams," the group's latest event tonight at 7:00 at the Damien B. Art Center (282 NW 36th St.) showcases the works of more than 20 painters, photographers, sculptors, filmmakers, musicians, DJs, and actors who will respond to what that word means to them. "Eventually our biggest dream is to expand the Arte del Barrio events to other cities in the States, and even to Europe," adds Ortiz. For the moment at least, they feel more comfortable and valued at home, where they'd like to establish a quarterly art-oriented affair. With the help of allies such as the Miami-Dade County mayor and the Damien B. Art Center, plus the knowledge of curator Brandon Opalka, anything is possible. Admission is $6. Call 786-351-8695. -- By Javier Andrade
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Hair's alive at fashion fair
Hair may be made up of dead cells, but it's far from croaked. Judging by the wealth of products from hair mayonnaise to fortifying potions, one can see hair is alive. This week, hair aficionados will get their fix at Three Days of Beauty on South Beach, where, among the roster of fashion, health, and makeup tips, there promises to be the "hottest hair show this summer." Top hair pros Marcel Muñoz and Michael Hall will be swirling up a storm with gel, extensions, and color. Both gurus will be offering various cutting and styling workshops for licensed cosmetologists. The sessions build up to a hair extravaganza, where babes will model the haute-hair couture. The beauty convention begins at 10:00 a.m. Monday, June 14, at the Shelborne Resort and Hotel, 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The big hair show starts at 6:00 tonight. Admission is $30 and $45. Call 786-276-9344. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Pet Sound Off
Though it may seem like the Miami-Dade Police Department's Animal Services Unit has a jackbooted affinity for snatching pets or shooting them, the top problem the Humane Society wants to fix is providing better service in both county animal shelters as well as devising programs for neutering and spaying dogs and cats. According to spokeswoman Melanie Otero, spaying and neutering is "number one, two, and three" on the organization's agenda. Otero and members of the Humane Society of the United States will be collecting information from county residents at a public meeting meant to improve animal services. Miami-Dade spokesman Hernando Vergara says the county hired Washington, D.C.-based HSUS to help gather information for an overarching animal services improvement project. Perhaps they will recommend a moratorium on police shootings of barking dogs and kidnapping pooches. The public forum begins at 2:00 p.m. on the 18th floor of the Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW 1st St. Admission is free. Call 305-375-2751. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez