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United Way rubber ducks now on sale
August 15, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - The grand prize in this year’s United Way Rubber Duck Dash is this 2013 Camaro from TEAM Chevrolet. From left is Jerry Goodwin from TEAM Chevrolet and event co-chairs Brady Shaul and Ruben Hernandez.

Ducks for the 16th annual United Way of Western Nebraska Rubber Duck Dash are now on sale at businesses around the community.

The Duck Dash, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14 in Riverside Park in Scottsbluff, raises funds to help United Way support 24 area service agencies that help people in need.

“Last year we sold out of the 20,000 ducks we had and we raised about $80,000,” said Special Events Coordinator Jenna Allen. “This year we hope to do even better.”

Brady Shaul, co-chair of the special events committee, said the event was moved up this year so they could avoid the upstream water release in the river. “We check the water level every month and more often once we get closer to the day,” he said.

The Duck Dash begins at 9 a.m. on Sept. 14 at the Trails West YMCA Camp. Food vendors will be on site and there will be a variety of kids’ games. The ducks go into the river at 10:30 a.m.

“If there are ducks available on the 14th, they will be sold starting at 9 a.m. until we sell out,” Allen said. “Last year we sold out before the event, so we encourage people to buy their ducks early.”

A total of 30 prizes will be awarded for the winning ducks. The grand prize is a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro LT convertible from TEAM Chevrolet in Scottsbluff. Second prize is a Honda 4WD ATV from Sandberg Honda.

“One of our company’s core values is to be good community members,” said Jerry Goodwin of TEAM Chevrolet. “This is a great opportunity to give back. It’s a huge undertaking just to stage this event, so we’re privileged to be part of that. And all the money stays in the community to help good causes.”

Goodwin said it’s also exciting to be able to sell the rubber ducks for the race. Fourteen-year-old Jacob Krause of rural Box Butte County bought his ducks at TEAM the day before the race last year, and ended up winning the grand prize.

United Way operates throughout the Panhandle. One of its agencies in Alliance is TeamMates and Jacob is involved in that program.
“We were excited to see it come full circle,” Allen said. “The family had gone through a hard time with a fire in their house, and I’m glad everything worked out as it was meant to be.”

TEAM Chevrolet is the only place where people can buy a Quack Sack, which includes a souvenir duck and a number of coupons to area businesses. Quack Sacks are included in the $25 Quacky Bunch, which includes five ducks in the Duck Dash, and the $60 Quacker’s Dozen, which included 13 ducks for the price of 12. Individual ducks are $5 each. People who want to purchase ducks can stop by the Gering Citizen offices in downtown Gering and fill out a form.

United Way’s 2013 – 2014 agencies include Assets Building Choices (CAPWN), Longs Peak Council of Boy Scouts of America, Buckboard Therapeutic Riding Academy, CAPstone, Carpenter Center, CASA of Scotts Bluff County, Cirrus House Transitional Age Program, Community Ever Green House (CAPWN), The Diaper Depot, Disability Rights Nebraska, DOVES, Foster Grandparent Program (CAPWN), Foster Grandparent Program (NCAP), Gering Multi-Purpose Senior Citizen Center, Guadalupe Center, Legal Aid of Nebraska, Monument Family Connections, Panhandle Humane Society, Panhandle Independent Living Services, Riverside Discovery Center Education Outreach, Scotts Bluff County Volunteer Center, Scottsbluff Senior Center, Camp Scott Summer Program for Handicapped Children and the Western Nebraska Child Development Center (CAPWN).
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