Skaneateles 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.