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2019 Caregivers Rubber Ducky Classic raises funds for patient transportation

By Staff | Sep 20, 2019

Eli Hasenbuhler, a fifth grader at Orchard View Intermediate School, helps remove plastic ducks from Town Run during the Rubber Ducky Classic on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — On Saturday afternoon, about 150 yellow plastic ducks could be seen floating down Town Run, from McMurran Hall to behind the Little House, before being removed by Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers Program Manager Kris Cline.

As the first ducks ran into the net finish line, Cline used a net to scoop them out of the water and deliver the first, second and third place ducks to Finance and Transportation Manager K.C. Brewster. Along with the ticket holders for first place winner 217, second place winner 218 and third place winner 40, a cash prize was also awarded to an as-yet unknown last place duck.

“The very last duck gets a prize. But they can’t all get through the tunnels during our race, so sometimes you don’t find out the last place duck until the next day,” Brewster said, mentioning she would be coming back on Sunday to look for the final duck.

Despite one of the winners not being able to be named on the day of the race, ticket holders still came out to watch the hour-long race take place. But at least two of the winners were immediately named at this year’s race — first place winner Aaron Hutcherson, a seventh grader at Shepherdstown Middle School, and his sister, second place winner Heavenly Hutcherson, a tenth grader at Jefferson High School.

“It’s very exciting,” Heavenly remarked about her $50 winning, as her brother thought about what to do with his $100 prize.

Community members watch as plastic ducks float down Town Run toward the finish line behind the Little House on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

“We’re going to donate $50 back [to Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers],” Aaron said, mentioning this was both of the siblings’ first time participating in the race. “One hundred-fifty dollars from a charity is a lot of money, and it’s a good cause to donate that to.”

Their great-aunt, Nan Johnson, of Shepherdstown, said they had bought 10 tickets in all.

“He’s my good luck charm,” Johnson said of Aaron, mentioning this was the first time any tickets she has purchased for the race has won. “It’s a fun event, and a way to support a charity. Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers does good things for our community.”

According to GSIVC Executive Director Paula Marrone-Reese, the event was moved from June to September this year, to include community members who might have otherwise missed it while on their summer vacations. The event was sponsored by Jefferson Security Bank, City National Bank and RS Orthodontics.

Marrone-Reese said she hoped the proceeds from the race would be enough to free up the staff’s time from applying for grants, so they could spend more time helping community members with their health needs.

Rubber ducks were given away to those who purchased tickets to the 2019 Caregivers Rubber Ducky Classic, prior to the race down Town Run on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

“What we’re trying to do, is being able to focus more on our clients and less on fundraising,” Marrone-Reese said, mentioning GSIVC provides free transportation and medical equipment to those in need. “Generally the population we serve are living in poverty or very near close to it. A lot of people are just living on their social security checks, and we want to help them make it!”

To learn more about GSIVC, visit www.gsivc.org.