By Bill Schlichting
Pilot staff writer
Aerial photo by Don FreeA flock of 7,500 rubber duckies was released from a "duckster" and mingled in a river eddy before one broke free and swam to the finish line in the first Wild Rivers Ducky Derby.
The lone floater was the lucky duck for Brookings resident Jim Scrivner. The number on the bottom of the duck matched his ticket, making him the winner of an $1,800 gas card during the event Sunday afternoon at Loeb State Park.
But it took the downdraft from a helicopter piloted by Tom Moore to get any of the rest of the ducks downstream against the afternoon's upriver winds.
Soon, other ducks followed the lead duck down the Chetco River, with more than 450 people on the banks watching, and bringing good luck to other people who adopted ducks.
Other lucky ducky winners were:
Sandra Waddle of Brookings, a $1,200 diamond bracelet;
Emily Baker of Brookings, a $1,000 Barron's Home Furnishings gift certificate;
Julianne Leighton of Brookings, a $500 shopping spree at Ragz 'N Bagz;
Jaylene Sigman of Brookings, a $500 bouquet a month from That Special Touch;
Jeanene Craft of Brookings, a $500 fishing guide trip for two from Kimball Creek Bend Guide Service;
Mary Bell of Brookings, a $500 Gold Beach Lumber Co. gift certificate;
Barbi Slater of Harbor, a $500 gift certificate from Bernie Bishop Mazda;
Don Jaynes of Brookings, a $450 trip for 10 people from Jerry's Rogue Jets.
As of Tuesday, duck adoptions, donations and merchandise sales raised $38,500, according to Christy Wagner, treasurer of Rotary Club of Brookings-Harbor, organizer of the event to raise funds for community groups.
Groups whose nest eggs will benefit from the event include the ASPIRE program, cheerleaders, girls soccer team and leadership class at Brookings-Harbor High School; Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors; Brookings Red Shirts; Chetco Activity Center; Coast Redwoods Art Association; Curry County 4-H Program; Friends of Guardians from Above; Good Samaritan Curry Village; Lions Club of Brookings; Marine Corps League; Newspapers in Education; Oasis Shelter Home; Pelican Bay Arts Association and South Coast Humane Society.
Each group's earnings will be announced at a special event in a few weeks "after the feathers settle," said Dr. Douglas Walker, also of Rotary.
Some of the groups and race sponsors also had booths on the riverbed at the event, providing body painting, contests, food and more.
Top sponsors for the Wild Rivers Ducky Derby are Barron's Home Furnishings and Curry General Hospital Health Network. Media sponsors are the Curry Coastal Pilot, KURY radio, and Charter Communications.
Other sponsors include Dr. Doug Walker/Eye Center of Brookings, Daryn Farmer State Farm Insurance, Bella Italia Ristorante, Bernie Bishop Mazda, Good Samaritan Curry Village, Edward Jones Kevin Moerke, Gold Beach Lumber, Ragz n' Bagz Boutique, Town and Country Animal Clinic, Ray's Food Place, Chetco Pharmacy & Gifts, In-Motion Graphics and Stadleman Electric.
The event was successful enough that Rotarians are planning to have it again next year.