Popular Ducky Derby fundraiser ‘nice cap to Camas Days’

Camas-Washougal Rotary Club members collect rubber ducks from the Washougal River during the 2016 Camas Days Ducky Derby fundraiser. (Contributed photo)

At high noon Sunday, July 23, thousands of rubber ducks will take the plunge off the Third Avenue Bridge into the Washougal River.

The 23rd annual Ducky Derby is the Camas-Washougal Rotary Club’s primary fundraiser. Folks “adopt” the ducks for $5 each, then hope their duck is the fastest one down the river. Considering that the grand prize is a trip to Hawaii, it’s understandable that the annual duck race is a big Camas Days’ attraction.

Head Duck Aaron Reiter said between the derby’s raffle tickets and the sponsorships, the club is able to raise more than $35,000 each year. All of the proceeds help fund the club’s year-round service projects.

“This event is as much about winning a trip to Hawaii as it is about giving back to the community,” Reiter said. “The derby funds everything that the Rotary Club does. Whether that’s dictionaries for third-graders, backpacks filled with school supplies for children or scholarships for high school students hoping to attend college; everybody can feel good about that.”

People can adopt a duck for $5 at the Rotary Club booth, located downtown during Camas Days from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Friday and Saturday. Keep an eye out for Rotary Club members dressed as ducks roaming about the festival. Reiter’s favorite part of the fundraiser is interacting with visitors while in costume. Tickets also are available by emailing headduck@cwduckyderby.com.

The fastest ducks down the Washougal River on derby day win a seven-night stay at a condo in Hawaii, plus $1,000 toward airfare, donated by Riverview Bank. Other prizes include a plane ride over Mount St. Helens, a gold bracelet from Michael Nutter Jewelry, and gift certificates to restaurants, shops and service-providers.

“The race itself is kind of cool — watching thousands of ducks drop off the bridge and float down the river,” Reiter said. “Every year, the community involvment down on the river has grown. It’s a nice cap to Camas Days.”

For more information, visit www.cwduckyderby.org.