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Westport Sunrise Rotary Makes A Splash With Great Duck Race

The ducks splash into the waters of the Saugatuck River in Westport with the help of AJ Penna and Son Excavating Contractor.
The ducks splash into the waters of the Saugatuck River in Westport with the help of AJ Penna and Son Excavating Contractor. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Selling tickets, from left: Sheila Keenan, Frankie Smith and John Hendrickson with club President Jeff Cohen on the computer.
Selling tickets, from left: Sheila Keenan, Frankie Smith and John Hendrickson with club President Jeff Cohen on the computer. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
The ducks are almost home.
The ducks are almost home. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Sunny the Duck — the race’s mascot — gets a visit from some live geese.
Sunny the Duck — the race’s mascot — gets a visit from some live geese. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Top Duck is designed by Berchem, Moses & Devlin PC
Top Duck is designed by Berchem, Moses & Devlin PC Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Second place of the Chef for David Adam Realty was made by 10-year-old Ava Waldman.
Second place of the Chef for David Adam Realty was made by 10-year-old Ava Waldman. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Third Place went to Duck Garcia from Dunvilles Restaurant
Third Place went to Duck Garcia from Dunvilles Restaurant Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
The Great Duck Race’s great sign. The event is sponsored by the Westport Sunrise Rotary.
The Great Duck Race’s great sign. The event is sponsored by the Westport Sunrise Rotary. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs

WESTPORT, Conn. — Best Ever: That was Westport Sunrise Rotary’s eighth annual Great Duck Race under sunny skies Saturday afternoon. The race is one of the club’s two fundraisers, events that provide the resources it donates to nearly 30 charities in Westport, in nearby communities and in other countries.

“We couldn’t have had a better day for our community,” Club President Jeff Cohen said as the event was winding down. Every available ticket — almost 2,800 — was sold; lots of people took home duck-themed merchandise — shirts, caps, duck whistles — and all the activities were chockablock, he said.

Rotarian Ralph Kreuger, added that the Nerdy Derby, a staple of the Maker Faire, was “completely overwhelmed.” Kids nailed wheels and other parts to wood blocks and let their cars loose on a downhill track. No prizes were awarded, but it was a lot of fun for the racers and the engineers who designed and helped build the cars — their parents.

Back on the water, the winning duck gave Westporter Maggy Teed a $5,000 Visa Debit card. The second place finisher provided Norwalk resident Tony Galvao a $1,000 card. The next eight finishers gave their ticket holders $500 each.

Another feature of the afternoon was the Duck Decoration competition, which drew 14 entries, all of them creative design expressions. Local artist Miggs Burroughs selected the winners.

Top Duck went to the law firm of Berchem, Moses and Devlin PC for their “Don’t Duck Out on Your Responsibility to Vote — Will Your Candidate Sink or Swim?”

Second place went to David Adam Realty for a duck designed and built by 10-year-old Ava Waldman.

Third place was Dunvilles Restaurant’s Ducky Garcia, a tie-dyed view of the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia.

Many of these ducks will be on display at the Library this month.

Duck Race director Steve Violette offered thanks “to all the organizations that supported our efforts to raise money for local charities.”

Among them were Melissa & Doug, Eric Zielinski & Co., CastleKeep Investments, Patriot Bank, Westport Downtown Merchants Association, AJ Penna & Son Excavating Contractor, Berchem, Moses & Devlin PC, Garavel Subaru, Gault Energy, Honda Westport, Russell Agency and Webster Bank.

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