Duck Dash

File / The Herald

About 5,000 rubber ducks will be in the Coosa River for the River Region Duck Dash on Oct. 12.

This year’s River Region Duck Dash hosted by the Wetumpka Rotary Club is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 12.

The event will raise funds for a number of organizations supported by the club over the years, the most recent being the Deputy James Bart Hart Rotarian Memorial Scholarship. 

The $1,500 scholarship was established in memory of Hart who lost his life in a car accident while in the line of carrying out his duties.

It is awarded to one high school senior from Elmore County High School each year. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA and be the child of a first responder.

The club expects 5,000 rubber ducks will be dumped into the Coosa River from the bridge at Gold Star Park. The ducks will float through the river’s old lock system to a cage at the end of the route.

The “parent” of the first duck that makes it into the cage will receive $1,500 cash; second place will receive $1,000; and the third place will receive $750.

Wind Creek Hotel & Casino general manager Cody Williamson had the idea for this event several years ago when the local club was thinking of fun ways to raise funds for the groups it supports. 

“It was fun; it was different,” Rotary Club member Eric Hyde said last year. “We hadn’t had anything like that around here. We have a river. Why can’t we do something that includes where we’re at?”

Winners of the 2018 race were Marsha Hicks, first place; Bridget Gonzales, second place; Jewell Wilkinson, third place; and Timothy Hinkle, consolation prize for being the parent of the last duck to cross the finish line.

Last year 2,131 ducks were purchased by community members and businesses to raise funds for several area nonprofit organizations. The event yielded $9,380 in duck sales.

Ducks can be purchased for $5 each or five ducks for $20, 12 ducks for $50 and 25 ducks for $100.

“It used to be that we gave $100 here and $100 there to the organizations we support,” Hyde said. “The donations are much more substantial now. One hundred percent of the proceeds go back to the nonprofits.”

Nonprofit organizations that receive funding from the club include Humane Society of Elmore County, Adullam House, Wetumpka Rotary Dictionary Project, Wetumpka YMCA, Elmore County Pregnancy Center, Elmore County Food Pantry and the scholarship program.

Rotary International is an international service organization made up of local clubs which bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service and advance goodwill and peace around the world. 

According to the organization’s records, there are currently 1.2 million members located throughout the world.

More information about how the public can adopt ducks and specific event information is available online at www.duckrace.com/wetumpka