|Getting ready for some duck floating fun|
|June 25, 2015 Jerry Purvis|
Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Briana Vallejo (left) and Hannah Thornton visit while affixing labels to some of the 20,000 rubber ducks that will float down the river on July 25 for the United Way of Western Nebraska Rubber Duck Dash. Almost 50 people volunteered to help out last week.
This year’s Rubber Duck Dash, a fundraiser for United Way of Western Nebraska, is coming up on July 25, a new date for this year.
A pre-race festival for the entire family starts at 9 a.m. at the YMCA Trails West Camp in Riverside Park. The ducks go into the river at 10:30 a.m.
Jeana Allen, United Way special events coordinator, said the dash is usually in the fall, but high water levels made it hazardous to float the rubber ducks down the river. So after some research, they discovered the best time would be in late July, when the water level is lower.
Now in its 18th year, the Rubber Duck Dash offers some great prizes for those who have the winning numbered ducks.
This year’s grand prize is from TEAM Chevrolet. It’s a 2015 Chevy Silverado crew cab V-8 truck with remote start, automatic transmission and much more.
“The crew cab is a new style that’s immensely quiet,” said Kent Holub of TEAM Chevrolet. “And it has lots of room for whatever the winner needs it to do, from transportation to hauling a boat to moving trees for landscaping.”
The second place winning duck will receive a new Honda Pioneer 500 side-by-side, donated by Sandberg Honda in Gering. “This is bigger than an ATV,” said special events co-chair Brady Shaul. “A lot of people would like an ATV, but we thought the winner would get more use out of larger vehicle.”
Similar vehicles are now street legal, so it can be used for both transportation and work.
Allen said they have 20,000 rubber ducks to sell for the event, which will feature 30 great prizes from area businesses and organizations. Ducks are on sale at businesses around the community, but the Quack Sacks are only available at TEAM Chevrolet in Scottsbluff when you buy five or more ducks. Included in the sacks are valuable coupons from numerous businesses and a souvenir duck.
“Sales are just starting,” Allen said, “but I see no reason we can’t sell all 20,000 with a nice truck like this. Remember, the more ducks you buy, the better your chance of winning.”
Although the river is still high due to recent rains, United Way staff are confident the water level will be fine for launching the ducks on July 25.
“Last year we raised $60,000, which is a huge part of our United Way goal,” Allen said. “All of what we raise goes to agencies that help those in need in our community.”
She added there are other ways to win vehicles, but the Rubber Duck Dash also helps in the community. And the price is still only $5 a duck.
“No matter how many ducks sell, the truck will be given away,” Holub said. “So everyone who buys a duck has a shot at it.”
This campaign season’s United Way member agencies include the 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, Disability Rights Nebraska, DOVES, CAPWN Foster Grandparents Program, NCAP Foster Grandparents Program, Guadalupe Center, Monument Family Connections, Panhandle Independent Living Services, Respite Program, Scotts Bluff County Volunteer Center, Scottsbluff/Gering Soup Kitchen, Scottsbluff Senior Center, Camp Scott Summer Program for Handicapped Children, and the CAPWN Western Nebraska Child Development Center.