Westport Sunrise Rotary to Hold Great Duck Race on Saugatuck River

Three-thousand yellow rubber ducks will race down Westport’s Saugatuck River for $10,000 in prizes in the fourth annual Great Duck Race to support 40 local and international charities, on Saturday, June 30, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Sponsored by the Westport Sunrise Rotary, the family oriented event takes place in Parker Harding Plaza, Westport, adjacent to the Saugatuck River.  Admission is free and open to the public.  In addition to the duck race, there will be children’s arts and crafts, games, face painting, magician, bouncy castle, slap shot, duck decorating contest, music, and refreshments. 

First prize is a $5,000 Visa Gift Card; second prize, a $1,000 Visa Gift Card; third through tenth prizes, a $500 Visa Gift Card.  Tickets to sponsor a duck are $20 each and may be purchased at Fairfield County Bank, 20 Compo Rd. So. (corner of Post Rd.), Westport; TD Bank, 185 Main Street, Westport; Black Duck Café, 605 Riverside Ave., Westport; The Russell Agency, 317 Pequot Ave., Southport; or from any Westport Sunrise Rotary member.

“By purchasing a duck for $20, you help support 40 long-standing Westport, Norwalk and Bridgeport charities as well as international aid efforts,” said Steve Violette of Westport, event chair.

At approximately 1 p.m., 3,000 ducks, each with a number corresponding to a ticket, will be launched into the Saugatuck River north of the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.  The ducks are kept in line with 400-foot booms.  As the booms are pulled away, the race is on and the current carries the ducks, made of an environmentally sensitive compound, along the river toward the finish line.  The first 10 ducks to cross the line win prizes.  Ticket holders need not be present to win.

“While The Great Duck Race is all in fun, the serious business of providing much needed services and donations to worthy charities is its priority,” added Violette.


Proceeds from Westport Sunrise Rotary Great Duck Race will support a wide range of charitable programs locally and internationally, serving all ages, in four categories: local charities, including CLASP, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Elder House, Homes with Hope, Meals on Wheels, Project Return, Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, and Westport/Weston YMCA; community service, including Gillespie Center Meals, and Westport Public Library; youth service, such as the Four-Way Speech and Poster Contest, and Staples Student of the Month; and international service, including worldwide polio eradication. A complete list of organizations that Westport Sunrise Rotary serves is available at http://www.westportsunriserotary.com/charities.html

The Great Duck Race sponsors are Westport Downtown Merchants Association; Fairfield County Bank; Melissa & Doug; A. J. Penna & Son; Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C.; Black Duck Café; iFloat; Down Under; Westport Magazine; Our Town Crier; Bluewater Home Builders, LLC; GVI; KMS Partners, LLC; ; RFH Company; The Russell Agency; Servicemaster Clean; Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities; Bridgeport Sound Tigers; Tina Dragone; Total Marine; ; and Eric H. Zielinski & Co., LLC.

For more information, visit www.TheGreatDuckRace.org

Westport Sunrise Rotary invites all who are interested in community service and camaraderie to join their weekly meetings at , 42 Main Street, Westport, Fridays at 7:30 a.m., featuring a buffet breakfast, high jinx, serious conversation, and a timely and informative speaker.  For more information about Westport Sunrise Rotary, visit the club's website atwestportsunriserotary.com; contact Sheila Keenan, membership, 203-856-9172, sheilafkeenan@aol.com; or attend a meeting.

The members of the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club are a diverse group of business and professional leaders who contribute their time, talents and financial support to aid local charities, youth programs and international humanitarian programs.  They are dedicated to encouraging high ethical standards in all club activities and to helping Rotary International build goodwill and peace in the world.  The club participates with 1.2 million fellow Rotarians in 34,000 clubs around the world to uphold Rotary’s motto of "Service Above Self."


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