Ducks race for Rotary

The race started early this year due to rain

Mike DiFerdinando
A young fan uses a duck whistle during the 2014 Ducky Derby at Plum Creek in Castle Rock.
Mike DiFerdinando
Ducks race down Plum Creek during the 2014 Ducky Derby in Castle Rock.
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Thousands of Douglas County's finest rubber ducks raced down East Plum Creek during the 2014 Ducky Derby June 7 in Castle Rock.

The Ducky Derby is an annual fundraiser sponsored by the Rotary Club of Castle Rock, Castle Rock High Noon Rotary and the Rotary Club of Castle Pines.

Each donation earned a competitor a numbered ticket and a marked “rubber ducky” to enter into the derby. This year's race was moved up from 3 p.m. to 2:30 in order to avoid the rain. The net proceeds are awarded to local, regional and international Rotary Club charities.

In addition to the ducky race there was also plenty of face painting, food, entertainment, bands, a bouncing safari house, a slide and a silent auction.

“It's a great event every year. We love to bring the kids and let them do the face painting and festival type stuff. (Our kids) love picking out their ducks and watching them race. It's a fun day,” said Sarah Grantham, a mother of three from Castle Rock.

At the first Castle Rock Ducky Derby in 1997, only 500 ducks raced down the creek to the finish line, where the first several ducks earned their sponsors a few prizes.

Each year since that modest beginning, the Ducky Derby has grown to the point that it now is a recognized and highly anticipated annual event for Castle Rock and the surrounding community.

This year, the winning duck brought home its owner, Richard Aslakson of Salida, $2,000.The second-place finisher, Patricia Portolano of Castle Rock, won $750 and third place and $250 went to Nancy Holmes of Castle Rock.

There was not a $1 million winner this year.

The million-dollar ticket number is selected in a random drawing from all the purchased ticket numbers before the race. If the first-place finisher also has their number drawn for the million dollars they win the money.

In similar fashion, there was also a chance to win a new car if a ducky came in second and also had a new car ticket number. There was no new car winner either this year.

The Ducky Derby is the largest annual fundraiser sponsored by the Castle Rock and Castle Pines Rotary clubs. Both clubs are part of Rotary International, a worldwide humanitarian organization with over 1.2 million members

The principal goal of Ducky Derby is to raise funds that will allow the local Rotary Clubs to perform service projects for such charitable organizations as the Douglas/Elbert Task Force, local food banks, and the Women's Crisis — Family Outreach Center.