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Good Afternoon friend!
We have a winner!
September 21, 2012 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Courtesy Photo Thirteen-year-old Jacob Krause (center) was the grand prize winner of a 2012 Chevy Camaro during the annual United Way Rubber Duck Dash. Joining him for a photo are (from left) Brady Shaul from the United Way, Kent Holub from TEAM Chevrolet, and Meagan Funk and Allyson Backer from Target.

Thirteen-year-old Jacob Krause of rural Alliance is anxious to get his learner’s permit, so he can drive the new 2012 Chevy Camaro convertible his family won at the Rubber Duck Dash, sponsored by the United Way of Western Nebraska.

“The Duck Dash went even better than we could have imagined,” said United Way special events coordinator Jeana Allen. “We sold all 20,000 ducks that were available, a goal that we had set several years ago.”

She added the last 10,000 ducks were sold in the last three days leading up to the Duck Dash last Saturday. “That shiny red sports car was enticing for people, so that might have been one of the reasons we sold so many ducks.”

Allen reported a huge turnout for the Rubber Duck Dash event at the YMCA Trails West Camp in Riverside Park and a lot of people came to watch the ducks go into the river.

“The river had gone up, so it was moving a lot faster and it was harder to catch the ducks, but they all made it to the finish line.” Allen said. “We lost a few when the backup net broke, but that’s part of the risk.”

Jacob and his family were at the event when the rubber ducks went into the river, and were thrilled when they had the winning duck.

“The family has had some trouble with fires in the area and some of their land has been destroyed, so this came at a really good time and was some good news for them and something to be happy about,” Allen said. “They’re just a very nice ranching family and I’m so happy they won the car.”

Jacob and his father drove down from Alliance to purchase ducks for the event and each of them bought a Quacker’s Dozen of 13 ducks.

“Because we sold out on the ducks, it’s going to benefit the community and do a lot of good for those in need,” she said. “We have some expenses that have to come out of the total, but I’m anticipating we raised between $80,000 and $90,000.”

Although Jacob’s parents, Ray and Jennifer Krause, had to come forward to claim the grand prize, Jacob plans to drive it once he gets his student driver permit next year.

Some of the other top winners in the 2012 Rubber Duck Dash included Anthony Moreno, who won the second place prize of a new Honda 4WD ATV, donated in part by Sandberg Honda. Gerry Hrasky won the installation of a York furnace system from Gering Valley One Hour. Shawn Fisher won cruise vouchers donated by McDonald’s of Scottsbluff, Gering, Alliance and Torrington. A Samsung 55-inch LED television, donated by First National Bank, went to Sharon Walker. Willard and Erma Rush won a Traeger grill from Johnson Cashway Lumber. Connie Frank won two round trip tickets from Scottsbluff to Denver on Great Lakes Airlines. A Dell laptop computer, donated by Intralinks, Inc., went to Amanda Sabo. Elaine Huggler was the winner of a La-Z Boy recliner from Webber Furniture and Sandy Gutwein won a duct cleaning service package from Country Air Services.

The United Way of Western Nebraska is asking the Scottsbluff/Gering and surrounding communities for help in retrieving lost ducks from the Rubber Duck Dash.

After the sell-out race had concluded and the 30 winning ducks were removed from the North Platte River, volunteers attempted to retrieve the remaining 18,970 ducks from the river. Due to the strong current and high water level in the river, several ducks were lost when the back-up net broke and released numerous ducks down the river. Volunteers and staff were able to rescue the majority of the escaped ducks. However, they are still missing several rubber ducks.

They ask that if anyone has retrieved any of the lost ducks that they please return them to the United Way of Western Nebraska office. The organization can arrange for them to be picked up by calling (308) 635-2522 or they can be dropped off at 1517 Broadway, Suite 106 in Scottsbluff.

It is important to find as many ducks as possible. If they are not recovered United Way will have to replace them, which is a costly expense.
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