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Rubber duck race for a cause

By Staff | Sep 2, 2011

Shepherdstown residents will see hundreds of rubber ducks floating at full speed down the Town Run this Saturday as the Good Shepherd Caregivers hold its first ever “Rubber Ducky Classic.”

The duck race is part of a new fundraising effort by the organization, which has provided multiple services to the Jefferson County area for over 20 years.

Proceeds from the race will fund GSC’s new fix-it team program, which provides minor home repairs to the elderly and disabled. The first place winner of the rubber duck race will take home a prize of $300 while second and third places will take $200 and $100 prizes, respectively.

GSC is a nonprofit organization based in Shepherdstown which provides volunteer caregiving to over 400 home-based older adult and disabled Jefferson County residents, according to the rubber duck race coordinator Gary Tucker. The rubber duck race is one of five fundraising events the organization holds. Other annual events include activities such as golf tournaments and spaghetti dinners.

Tucker said the event was born out of a need to be more creative about fundraising techniques.

“We, like every nonprofit in the area, have had a rough couple of years getting funding. So we had to think out of the box a bit,” Tucker said.

According to Tucker, the rubber duck race so far has been a successful way to bring in money for the organization. Organizers have already sold tickets for 300 ducks. Tickets cost $10 a piece but get cheaper as individuals buy more. A “family” of five ducks costs $40 and a “flock” of 10 costs $75.

The race will begin at Betty’s Restaurant in Shepherdstown, though it was originally planned that it would start behind the post office. The rubber ducks will be released into the Town Run and race about 100 yards. Each rubber duck released will have a number on its underside representing a ticket number. The first duck to the Blue Moon wins.

GSC will continue to sell rubber duck tickets up until 1 p.m. Saturday; they will be stationed outside of Betty’s Restaurant. There will also be T-shirts and hats on sale. The race will begin at 4:30pm.

Tucker anticipates seeing this event continue on in years to come, especially if GSC reaches its goal of raising $3,000.

The GSC will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. GSC also had the honor of receiving the Governor’s State Community Service Award this year.

According to GSC member Angie Hill, the organization currently has over 280 volunteers. These volunteers are focused on helping the needs of Jefferson County residents, but Hill said that they will go wherever they are needed. One volunteer even traveled 700 miles one way for a client, according to Hill.

“We have a lot of good people doing what we do, and it seems like every day we come across a different need,” Hill said.

More information about the organization’s services can be found at its website, www.gsivc.org.