More than 350 yellow USA rubber duckies raced down the Whetstone Creek Tuesday in Morrow County United Way’s first Annual Duck Race to benefit United Way agencies in Morrow County. “Smoke on the Water” was the theme of the evening and there were grilled brats and grill demos by representatives of Traeger, Holland and Big Green Egg grill companies.
75-100 people came out to the Morrow County Fairgrounds in Mount Gilead for a picnic supper and a “duck parade” before lining up at the fence along the Whetstone Creek to look for their duck in the race. It was a pleasant sunny evening and WVXG radio announcer, Mike Schnell entertained the crowd with a patter of one liners and unbridled enthusiasm for the race.
About 20 participated in the parade of ducks. Quillen Rocks won the “Best Looking” category with his Uncle Sam Duck. Delaney Carter’s duck was named the “Cutest.” Susie Sexton won the funniest with her duck dressed up with a sombrero and Mexican outfit.
Before the duck race started, Morrow County United Way Director, Jodi Hayes explained to the crowd that this was the first time in the United States that a United Way Duck Race would have all the ducks in the race made in the United States.
Hayes and the United Way Board members take great pride in knowing that Mount Gilead and Morrow County United Way had the honor of creating the “first ever United Way duck race using all American made ducks” that were shipped from Akron, Ohio. The ducks are 100 % made in America by Celebri Ducks, which is the only company in America that still manufactures rubber ducks.
United Way President, Ben Granger thanked Consolidated Electric Cooperative for coming forward as the “title sponsor.” Other major sponsors were: Edward Jones Investments, First Federal Bank, Morrow County Recycling and Litter Prevention, Seniors on Center, Traeger Grills and Woodside Village.
Granger, Barry Meyers and Adam Smith donned waders and climbed into the Whetstone by the Fairgrounds Bridge to dump in the race ducks. The crowd stood by the Whetstone to watch the ducks float by. Coming in first was Penni Fox’s duck, which won $300. The second place duck belonged to Kayla Davies, winning $200. The third place duck arriving at the finish was Shelby West’s and it won $100.
Becky Gattshall won the Raffle drawing and mentioned that she was incidentally the one who sold the winning duck to Penni Fox at the Auditor’s Office. Brian and Chantel Crawford and their family won the Traeger Grill.
“This was a really unique event,” commented Dixie Shinaberry at the end of the evening. “It’s a really fun time for families.”
Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel and can be reached at [email protected].