A flock of 5,000 rubber duckies got new lucky numbers and a bath Tuesday night as the Rotary Club of Brookings-Harbor prepared for Saturday’s Wild Rivers Ducky Derby.
The duckies will be dumped out to float a stretch of the Chetco River at Loeb State Park at 11 a.m. Saturday. The first duck down the course will win a $5,000 grand prize for someone who has adopted a duck.
“Since 2008, the Ducky Derby has raised more than $100,000 for community projects,” said Rotary Club President Jan Ramelli. “Because sponsors help us with the operating cost of the race, every adoption dollar goes to a community project.”
Both the Rotary Club and its sales partners, other non-profit groups, are still selling duck adoptions this week at $5 each. No more than 5,000 adoptions will be sold. There are a total of more than $8,000 in prizes.
Sales locations vary throughout the community, with more than a dozen groups selling adoptions. The groups get $1 for every ducky adoption, and are competing for extra cash if they are one of the three top-selling groups.
Rotary will hold a special “quack off” competition in front of the Brookings Post Office on Thursday.
Permanent sales locations are at the Curry Coastal Pilot, Umpqua Bank, Bernie Bishop Mazda and New-2-U resale and gifts.
More than three dozen Rotarians and volunteers from sales partners gathered Tuesday night for the “tagging party” where they checked for “dead ducks” that might sink in the river, removed tags from a previous race in Grants Pass, put on new numbers that are exclusive to this race, and rinsed the ducks in a mild bleach bath to protect the river.
The leading sponsor for the race is Sutter Coast Health Center @ Brookings-Harbor, joined by 14 other businesses in the community, joined by another 20 businesses that have donated prizes.
“We could not do this without our sponsors and donors,” said the Rotary Club’s Queen Duck Bonnie Northrup. “They make it possible for all the adoption donations to go community projects.”