The Rotary Club of the Verde Valley will hold its annual Duck Race fundraiser this year in person at Verde River Day. The Duck Race will be held at Dead Horse State Park on Sept. 24.
“For over 30 years, the Rotary Club of the Verde Valley has been providing ongoing financial support for people and programs that need it most,” said Lynette Prouty, president of the club. “Our primary fundraising effort is the Duck Race held on Verde River Day. This event has raised more than $400,000 over the years to support many worthwhile programs.”
Some of the programs supported include college academic and vocational scholarships for local graduating high school students, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, the Verde Valley Imagination Library which provides 2,000 children with free books every month, Habitat for Humanity’s Critical Home Repair program benefiting seniors and veterans, Steps to Recovery Homes, The Navajo Water Project, Ukraine Relief Funds through our support of Rotary Foundation, Global Relief Fund and KBC Ministries and Project Prom Closet which allows local high school students to select formal wear for free.
This year’s in-person Duck Race will be the first time it will occur at Verde River Day since 2019 as the annual event at Dead Horse Ranch State Park took some time off due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“During the pandemic, we were able to do the Duck Race with only a few club members in attendance,” Prouty said.
Verde River Day promotes preservation and care of the unique riparian habitat of the Verde River with informative exhibits, live music and activities such as fishing, kayaking and canoeing in the state park’s lagoons.
“The Duck Race will take place at the irrigation ditch near the ramadas at 1:30 p.m.,” said Prouty. “There will be a Duck Race sign at the location on the day of the event.”
Sponsorship of the event results in thousands of plastic ducks being released into the water. Donations will be accepted until race day and include a variety of contribution levels as well as race tickets. Sponsorships are $2,500 for Titanium level and 250 race tickets, $1,000 for Platinum level and 100 race tickets, $500 for Gold level and 50 race tickets, $350 for Silver level and 35 race tickets and $200 for Bronze level and 20 race tickets.
“We are also selling individual Duck Race tickets this year for a chance to be in the race to win cash prizes,” said Prouty. Individual tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. Duck Race prizes are $1,000 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place.
To purchase tickets or a sponsorship, call Lynette Prouty at 928-274-0059. Donations can also be made online by visiting rotarycluboftheverdevalley.org and clicking the blue and red “Donate Here Duck Race” button on the right-hand side of the page. Sponsorship level amounts are available directly on the form. To purchase individual tickets, use the “Other” amount and the Rotary Club with complete your race tickets.
“We appreciate the support of our community as we continue to ‘Serve to Change Lives,’” Prouty said.