Rubber ducks to race to finish line in Sunday's derby in Port Angeles
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Peninsula Daily News
Thousands of plastic ducks tumble out of a dump truck and into the Lincoln Park pond during the 23rd annual Duck Derby in Port Angeles last year. Jerry Hendricks, standing at left of the plywood funnel, and Harry Hebert, standing at right of the funnel, help guide the ducks out of the dump truck. Firefighters Simon Wilson, second from left, and Josh Hall, both with hoses, stand ready to spray pressurized water on the ducks to move them across the pond.

By Leah Leach
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Thousands of rubber ducks will float to the finish line Sunday to benefit a good cause and provide 42 people with prizes during the 24th annual Duck Derby.

The main race, in which rubber ducks are dumped into the pond at Lincoln Park at 1500 W. Lauridsen Blvd. and “race” for the finish line, will start at 1:30 p.m.

More than 20,000 tickets for ducks for the main race have been sold this week. More sales are expected by race day, said Madeleine Burns, finance director for the Olympic Medical Center Foundation, which organizes the race and which, along with the Sequim Rotary Club's charitable projects, benefits from it.

Forty-two prizes worth more than a total of $25,000 will be up for grabs, and all rubber duck “adoptive parents” will have chances to win them, including the winner's choice of a 2013 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck or a Toyota Corolla provided by Wilder Toyota Inc.

Other prizes include $1,000 cash and gift certificates to local restaurants.

Just before the main race at 1 p.m., the Bub and Alice Olsen Very Important Duck (VID) Race will be held.

Ducks in the VID race are purchased by businesses and individuals, including those from outside the Peninsula who do business with local companies, and are emblazoned with their logos for $250 and $500 each.

The Kids Pavilion will be opened at 1 p.m. Refreshments will be served, and KONP radio will make live announcements of the winners.

A catered VID party, for those who purchased VID packages, will be at 11:30 a.m. in the old Loomis Tavern building at the race site.

Also open at 11:30 a.m. will be the DeMolay of Port Angeles' burgers and hot dogs tent.

Date moved

The date of the annual derby was pushed from May to June this year to allow ticket sales over the Memorial Day weekend and the two weeks after, Bruce Skinner, executive director of the Olympic Medical Center Foundation, has said.

Last year, the race was May 13.

The change has paid off, Burns said.

“We feel that it has definitely been a positive move,” she said.

“We're up more than 1,500 for the same selling time period [three weeks] as last year, so we anticipate beating our number of 28,085” duck tickets that were sold in 2012, Burns said.

Duck tickets

Tickets are still available for the race.

They can be purchased at the Peninsula Daily News and other outlets, as well as from members of the OMC Foundation, many OMC employees, Sequim Rotary Club members and the Forks Soroptimist International of the Olympic Rainforest and volunteers who pitch in to raise money for the project.

Members of Sequim Noon Rotary will be selling derby ducks today and Saturday.

Today, Rotary members will be at Sequim Walmart, 1110 W. Washington St., and Sequim QFC, 990 E. Washington St., from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, and they'll be at the Sequim Open Aire Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tickets will be available at the race site until 12:30 p.m., Burns said.

For each duck that is adopted, the purchaser receives a ticket with a printed number that corresponds to a number on the duck.

During the main race, all of the numbered ducks will be dumped into the Lincoln Park Pond.

The holders of the tickets for the first 42 ducks to cross the finish line will win prizes.

Each duck ticket costs $5. For $25, adopters receive an extra duck (six chances to win) in the race.

Obstetrics, family services

Proceeds from the derby, which is presented by the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe, will benefit OMC's Obstetrics and New Family Services through the OMC Foundation and the Sequim Rotary Club's charitable projects.

The slogan for this year's race is “Buy a Duck and Help an Infant.”

The 2012 derby grossed more than $132,000, Burns said.

This year, “we'd love to gross more than $150,000,” she added.

The derby has raised more than $2,132,000 over the past 23 years for charities including the OMC Foundation, the Sequim Radiation Oncology Center, Forks Soroptimists, the Lions Club, Kiwanis, the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula and other Sequim Rotary projects.

The derby was held at Nippon Paper Industries USA's canal off Marine Drive through 2011 but was displaced during the construction of the paper mill's upgraded biomass cogeneration plant.

Now, the ducks are pushed across the Lincoln Park pond by fire hoses held by Port Angeles Fire Department firefighters.

For more information, phone the OMC Foundation at 360-417-7144 or visit its website at www.omhf.org.

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Managing Editor/News Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3531 or at leah.leach@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 06. 2013 6:08PM
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