A big duck floats down the Alouette River during the Rotary Duck Race on Sunday at Maple Ridge Park. Contributed

Rubber ducks float down Alouette River in annual race

This year the Maple Ridge event raised $69,620 for youth in the community.

Just under $70,000 was raised at this year’s Rotary Duck Race in Maple Ridge.

There were 6,962 ducks were sold to raise $69,620 for local youth organizations, sports groups and school parent advisory councils in the community.

There were lots of people at Maple Ridge Park to enjoy the festivities, which included children’s games and activities, but not as many as last year.

“I think the weather had something to do with it,” said organizer Bonnie Telep, with the Rotary Club of Haney.

“Last year, we had lots of people, they had their families just in the park at the spray pool and stuff. But this year it was kind of cloudy and it was predicted to rain,” said Telep.

“But there was lots of kids on the river bank just absolutely loving to see the ducks go down the river,” she added.

Organizers phoned the winner of the grand prize, a 2016 Chrysler 200 LX, valued at $22,000, including taxes, donated by the event sponsor, Maple Ridge Chrysler.

Vancouver resident Lisa Mitchell was in disbelief when she got the call.

“She was just screaming she was so happy. She said, ‘Me? I won the car? Oh my God!’” said Telep.

“It was incredible and we put her on speakerphone so the audience could hear her. So it was really neat.”

The fundraiser is structured so that groups purchase the tickets, and keep 90 per cent of whatever they sell, returning the rest to the Rotary Club to cover event expenses.

When the tickets are not sold by a community group, Rotary takes 90 per cent of the proceeds and distributes it to groups as needed.

“We have the ability to put out 99,999 tickets, make that kind of money,” said Telep, who wants to get more groups involved and get more into the arts.

She also wants to tip her hat to the volunteers and both local Rotary Clubs.

“We have incredible volunteers. If it weren’t for them, if it weren’t for the Rotary Clubs, there would be no duck race,” she said.

Other winners:

• second place, Sandy King, of Maple Ridge, who won $1,000 cash and $1,000 shopping spree at Mark’s;
• Tthird place, Greg Reimer, of Maple Ridge, who won a 55” Samsung Ultra HD Smart TV valued at $1,399 from Haney Sewing and Sound;
• fourth place, Derek Campbell, of Maple Ridge, who won a mini golf tournament with 10 rounds and five carts valued at $1,040 at Meadow Gardens Golf Course;
• fifth place, Melanie Scarcella, of Maple Ridge, who won a $1,000 furniture package from Fuller Watson.

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