Jul 23, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
More than 100 people jammed the freshly-cleared creek edge behind the CVS in Skaneateles to watch as 4,000 yellow rubber ducks floated swiftly down the water in the first-ever Duck Dash fundraising event. In the end, it was a duck named “Drake” who won first place, and $1,000, for its owner Jack Mahoney.
“It’s a perfect day — I’d say somebody is looking out for us,” said Sue Dove, executive director of the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce, one of the three sponsoring groups of the event. “I was worried about fitting another event into this [Curbstone Festival] weekend, but it worked out, and it’s been a really fun collaboration.”
The Duck Dash — in which people spend $5 to sponsor a rubber duck in hopes it will win them a prize in the race down the creek from the Skaneateles Lake Outlet toward the Kelly street bridge — was sponsored by the Skaneateles Foundation, the YMCA and Laker Limo to raise funds for the organizations’ various community endeavors. Ducks had been on sale and advertising continuous for weeks before the event in hopes of making the inaugural Dash a success.
“Hopefully this whole thing benefits a whole lot of people,” said Randy Starkweather, of Laker Limo. “We hope this becomes an annual event.”
Final fundraising tallies were not completed as of press time, but $4,800 was raised in sponsorships and by Saturday afternoon an estimated $6,000 had been raised by the sale of 1,200 ducks, although sales were ongoing until the last minutes before the duck race actually began, Dove said.
The event was sponsored by multiple local businesses, including Victor Ianno, owner of the CVS building, who allowed the event to be held in his back lot, and John Dudden, of Excavation Plus, whose front-end loader helped clear the entire brushline of the creek and also to dump the ducks into the water at the start of the race.
The event included youth and family activities, food and beverages from Johnny Angel’s, Creekside Books & Coffee and Downtown Deli, and live music by the Tumbleweed Jones Band. Prizes for the first 10 ducks across the finish line included the $1,000 Grand Prize, a YMCA family membership, dinner cruises for two from Mid-Lakes navigation and Finger Lakes SCUBA Open Water Dive Class.
Also happening last weekend were the annual Curbstone Festival and the St. James Jumble Sale, both of which likewise reported successful events. Dove said this year’s Curbstone Festival was “phenomenal,” with merchants telling her Thursday was the “biggest day ever” in terms of money spent by consumers.
At St. James Episcopal Church, nearly 100 people started lining up one hour before the 8 a.m. sale opening, said event organizer David R. Plogman. “We got here at 7 and there were already people sitting in their cars waiting,” he said. “The sale was so packed with stuff — but if you price it right it goes out the door.”
This was the tenth year of the sale, and everyone was “definitely happy” with the large turnout, Plogman said.
Final sale figures were not tallied as of press time, but the church’s goal was to raise about $5,000. All revenue from the Jumble Sale goes toward church outreach programs.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.