Bringing back the rubber duck race
By Kris Leonhardt
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Two local foundations are bringing back an old-time event featuring a popular bath-time toy.
“This year is our second year doing the event through our Firefighter’s Charitable Foundation along with the Aspirus Riverview Foundation during the Cranberry Blossom Festival. It used to be put on many years ago through the fire department women’s auxiliary,” explained Austin Erdman.
“The event consists of raffle tickets that are assigned a number 1-1200. Then we have 1200 ducks that also have said number written on the bottom of them. So for example if you purchase and receive ticket No. 1 you would be associated with the duck that has the No. 1 on the bottom of it. Once all tickets are sold the ducks are all mixed up into a tarp and are dropped into the river off of the Jackson Street bridge.
“There are boats in the water that collect the ducks once they hit the Grand Avenue bridge. The first six that pass the bridge are collected and are cash prize winners.”
The event takes place June 19 after the Cranberry Blossom Fest Parade, at approximately 2 p.m.
“Last year we raised $5,025. All of that money was given to initiatives that help to improve behavioral health throughout our community. We are hoping to match or improve the donation this year,” added Erdman, who is organizing the event with Sherry Evenson of the Asprius Riverview Foundation.
The rubber duck fundraiser is just one of many event the foundation holds to receive funding.
“Throughout the summer we also collect money in the old Shopko parking lot with old fire boots for MDA which is the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In the fall, we design and sell t-shirts for the month of October to donate to breast cancer initiatives. In the winter we deliver Christmas baskets to deserving families in the community. We also hold an Ice Golf event in February at Anchor Bay. Lastly we hold a beer release where a local brewery brews us our own beer and it is released on St. Patrick’s Day,” Erdman said.