This year proceeds from the race will benefit the transportation fund, said Hawkins. The center has a fleet of vans to transport seniors and the disabled to appointments and other destinations. Without public transportation in the Upper Rogue, this service is heavily utilized. The center averages about 6,000 trips a year.
Although the economy is sluggish, to say the least, Hawkins said businesses and individuals have been more than generous with a wonderful array of prizes for raffles and the silent auction that has been added this year. Local artist, Debby Elder, donated two original watercolors of the Chickadee Flower Shop and dog with a blooming Dogwood tree. Elder has painted since 2003 and has studied at St. Mary’s Art Center in Virginia City, Nevada and with Diane Stearns in Sonora, California. She also participated in the River ArtWalk.
Over 100 other prizes include gift certificates from WalMart, Food 4 Less, Safeway and Phil’s Frosty; a $30 lunch for two at the new Rogue River Lodge, prime rib dinners at the Butte Falls Café and Lost Creek Lake Marina, meals at Antonio’s, Abby’s and Pizza at the Cove. Overnight stays are at the White City La Quinta, Maple Leaf Motel and the Edgewater Inn. A rafting trip, pontoon boat rental, massage, chiropractic visit and a dental exam are just more of this year’s wide variety of prizes, according to Hawkins.
Adding to the ambience of the day, the ever popular Jammers will play an assortment of blues, folk, country and other music styles. While enjoying the sound, the hungry can feast on barbequed treats and even get their faces painted, said Hawkins. This is a relaxing day to enjoy the outdoors and visit with acquaintances and friends in a beautiful setting on the Rogue River.
With the retirement of Stan Johnson, Tyler Hulsey is the new Duck Master and will release the ducks into the river with the help of Pete Mazzini who has the job of corralling the ducks. Kids in particular have a great time watching and offering suggestions as the bright yellow ducks float down the river. Featured will be the lame duck and the grand finale races, said Hawkins.
For $5 people may “adopt” a duck. Duck adoption papers may be bought in advance at the community center, Happy’s Tacos, Shy’s Café and Lounge, Cutty’s Pizza and 1st Run Video and the Upper Rogue Independent. Ducks may also be purchased at the park, beginning at 10 a.m with the race starting at noon, said Hawkins.
The duck race is the largest fundraiser for the community center. The center offers programs for youth and seniors as well as providing transportation. A thrift shop and food pantry are also onsite. The center is used for many popular events such candidate forums in election years and the annual Chili Cook off. For more information call 878-2702.
By Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent