Rotary ducks race in Maple Ridge on Sunday

Local businesses donated more than $35,000 in prizes for the first nine rubber ducks to cross the finish line

Proceeds from the sale of each rubber duck

Proceeds from the sale of each rubber duck

Betting men and women can try their odds at winning a 2011 Jeep at the Meadow Ridge Rotary Club’s first annual duck race this Sunday.

Local businesses donated more than $35,000 in prizes for the first nine rubber ducks to cross the finish line.

The jeep, donated by Maple Ridge Chrysler, goes to the winner.

“We’ve had a great response from the community,” said Mary Robson, who sits on the organization committee. “It’s a fun campaign to be involved with. Everybody loves a rubber duck.”

The money raised from the duck race helps fund the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows chapter of Kidsport, a charitable organization that helps offset sports registration costs for children of families with financial barriers.

At 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, a sea of bobbing yellow rubber ducks will encroach on a 300-metre stretch of the Alouette River, propelled forward by the current. A member from the RCMP dive team will be on site to rescue ducks that get stuck en route.

“So there won’t be any ducks stranded in the river,” said Robson. “We’re very excited for it.”

The day begins at 10 a.m. with a Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast. Besides the main event, fun-for-the-family entertainment such as clowns, face-painting, a live duck display, and a bouncy castle will fill the Maple Ridge Park.

People looking to race a duck can “adopt” one for $10. They’ll receive a numbered ticket that corresponds to the numbered ducks. The ducks will be available for purchase until race time.

Holland America Line donated a one week luxury cruise for two as second prize.

• For more visit www.rotaryduckrace.ca.