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Rubber ducks make up race despite the rain

By Staff | Sep 14, 2018

The top three ducks were placed separately from the hundreds of ducks making their way from German Street to the Little House. Photo by Toni Milbourne.

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The annual Rubber Ducky Classic originally scheduled for July 21 was rescheduled for Saturday, due to the heavy rainfall on the day of the race. The fundraiser for Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers did not fare well on the make-up date either, as rain throughout the day kept most would-be supporters away.

The Classic, a traditional and significant fundraiser for Good Shepherd, involves individuals purchasing yellow rubber ducks, which are then dropped into Town Run in front of McMurran Hall to make their way toward the Little House, where they are captured via netting placed across the flowing waters.

According to program manager Kris Cline, Town Run is typically filled with little yellow ducks.

“This year we only sold a little over 200,” Kline said. “We normally sell around 700 ducks.”

Only a handful of individuals were on hand to see the ducks make their way through the rapidly raging waters of Town Run. Within a matter of minutes, the ducks had flowed past the German Street starting point, down the waterfall and into the waiting nets at the Little House.

The first three ducks reaching the net won prizes for their buyers. The owner of the first duck to cross the finish line pocketed $300, while the second place duck’s owner won $200 and the third place duck’s owner garnered $100. The names of the winners were not immediately available following the race on Saturday; however, the lucky duck winning numbers were No. 156 for first place; No. 5 for second and No. 153 for third. Individuals were to be contacted after Good Shepherd opened on Monday.

According to Kline, Good Shepherd went ahead with the race despite Saturday’s rain, because the ducks had previously been sold in July.

“We wanted to honor the people’s purchases,” Kline said. “It’s important that when Good Shepherd hosts an event that offers compensation to someone, that we follow through.”

Ducks had been available for purchase prior to the originally scheduled July date at all banks in Shepherdstown. The presale at the banks was a new practice for the race, one that Kline said will continue in the future.

“Ducks will be for sale at upcoming Classics at the banks and on the day of the race as normal,” Kline said. “We normally sell 90 percent of the ducks on the day of the race.”

All proceeds from the event benefit Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers’ medical equipment lending program, according to director Paula Marrone-Reese.

In addition to this program, Good Shepherd offers free volunteer services including transportation, visiting, reassurance calls, yard work, medical equipment loans and fix-it projects to the seniors and/or disabled citizens of Jefferson County. The Good Shepherd Caregivers strive to promote independence, dignity, security and quality of life among elderly, disabled, frail and home-bound residents of our county, regardless of income or family circumstances.

For more information on volunteering or using the services offered by Good Shepherd Caregivers, or to donate to the organization, call 304-876-3325 or email info@gsivc.org.