ROTARY CLUB NEWS: Report on Rotary’s Dam Duck Race

Stephanie Pianka, Lake Placid Mayor Art Devlin and Deb McLean share a moment of satisfaction during the 2023 Dam Duck Race, organized by the Rotary Club of Lake Placid. (Provided photo)

The Rotary Club of Lake Placid wishes to thank the community for coming out to our 18th Annual Dam Duck Race fundraiser and party.

The race was initiated in 2005 starting with just 200 ducks and growing to over 1,700 ducks that go over the dam at Mill Pond. Debbie McLean had the vision. She and Tina Leonard put the first race together and ran it for 16 years. It was only canceled once, the first year of COVID. The event was always in June, the Saturday before Father’s Day. Since 2021, this date is not fixed with the Duck Race Committee choosing a date, which would have good attendance and participation while avoiding conflicts with other community events to the best extent possible.

The net proceeds from the race are for community giving. In the past we have supported several parks in town (McKinley, Peacock, the train in Jewtraw and the Rotary Park). We helped build the Shipman Youth Center and continue to support them, we supplied bike racks around town and bus shelters along with contributions to several charities, school, and community projects.

Our net proceeds this year were over $20,000, which will go towards projects in our community. To all of the many members and volunteers who sold duck tickets, solicited sponsorships and prizes: we are thankful! It could not have happened without everyone’s help.

We awarded over 60 prizes to ticket holders: the top three awards were $1,500 for first duck, No. 437, $300 for second place duck, No. 559, and $200 for third place duck, No 1292. For the first time we offered a “last place duck” award, which went to duck No. 1054 who won a round of four for golf courtesy of the Crowne Plaza.

The third grade class at the Lake Placid Elementary School named our enormous yellow duck “James Pond.” This year the giant duck floated in Mill Pond thanks to the efforts of the Lake Placid Village Highway department.

Rotarians Bridget McKillip and Stephanie Pianka were the co-chairs of the event. Every Rotarian in some way contributed to the success of this year’s event.

We wish we could name every one of our sponsors but we had more than 90. Thank you to the dozens of local businesses and individuals who sponsored the event, contributed prizes and/or bought tickets. Our VIP sponsors this year were: ClimeCo, Lisa G’s, High Peak Heat Pumps LLC and Lawn & Order Property Services.

A special shout out to the Lake Placid Public Library for sponsoring a children’s activity corner, it was well received and we thank them!

Here is the link to a fun duck race video we produced. Please “like” it and/or add a comment. http://bit.ly/LPduckrace Please save the date for next year’s race: Saturday, Sept. 14, 2024, to be held once again at Lisa G’s.

The Rotary Club of Lake Placid NY meets weekly on Thursday mornings at 7:20 a.m. at the Hampton Inn. All are welcome. For information, contact rotarylakeplacid@gmail.com.

(Martha Pritchard Spear is a member of the Rotary Club of Lake Placid.)

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