Mon, March 30

Success story<br><i>Verde River days draws 3,000; duck race generates more than $15,000</i>

Courtesy photo

Winning the Rotary Duck Race was Don Knight of Cottonwood seen here with Les Bovee manager of Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Knight, a local leader for the Boy Scouts of America won $1000. Pete Sesow of the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce (on far right) sold the winning ticket to Knight. The Rotary Club raised $15,650 in this year's Duck Race.

He said gave the event earned a B plus rating but hopes to increase the number of exhibitors in the coming years.

"I think if we were to expand it we've got plenty of space and could go easily up to 75 exhibitors." During Saturday's event, more than 40 exhibitors had the opportunity to demonstrate what makes them a special part of the Verde Valley community.

And with improvements on the horizon at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Sesow hopes a new lagoon will provide even more water sports for visitors.

"I don't know if we could do any water-skiing," he quipped.

But more water wasn't needed for an exciting, photo-finish duck race during Verde River Days.

The Rotary's premier fund-raiser brought 2,600 colorful fowl for a rush down the Cottonwood Ditch.

"We expect to raise between $12,000 and $15,000," said Rotary President Margie Beach.

The organization is currently providing stipends for three high school foreign exchange students and gives out between $10,000 and $15,000 in scholarships for Camp Verde and Cottonwood graduating seniors.

"We've had a wonderful response," said Beach. "People realize what we do with that money, it's not a hard sell."

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