Jody and Jim Makela looking good in their new convertible sports car. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Rotary duck race winners given sports car

First big win for Maple Ridge mother of three boys Jody Makela

Jody Makela wasn’t there to watch her rubber duck float its winning race last weekend, so the grand prize winner in the nine annual Rotary Duck Race had to be convinced she had won a sports car.

“I’ve never won anything like that,” said Makela. “I thought it was a prank.”

“It’s very overwhelming.”

But she had a huge smile on her face on Saturday morning at Maple Ridge Chrysler. She received the keys from general sales manager Ivan Czach with a big think-you, also said thanks to Rotarians Bonnie Telep and Michael Scarcella, and took some publicity photos with her three sons.

Then she and husband Jim each put on their shades and slid into their new Fiat 124 Spider convertible, with the top down. It may not have room for the whole family, but they are going to drive it for at least a while.

The car is a win valued at almost $40,000, with taxes in.

Their sons are all competitive swimmers of the Haney Neptunes Aquatic Club, which has been a big supporter of the Duck Race. That’s why she bought several books of tickets. The club was also a big winner, as it garnered $9,000 toward its club expenses through the Rotary fundraiser for kids sports and local groups.

Telep said the annual duck race has become a huge fundraiser for Rotary, hitting a record $84,000 this year. The maximum they are allowed to raise in this event is $100,000, and that suddenly looks like an attainable goal for next year, she said.

Next year’s race on the Alouette River with be the 10th annual for the event.

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