Duck race makes more money for foundation than ever before
September 2, 2017
Never before in its 30-year history has the Great Rubber Duck Race raised so much money.
The large-scale fundraiser put on annually by The Summit Foundation flew into Breckenridge on Saturday.
Race organizer Elisabeth Lawrence was ecstatic as the ducks started crossing the finish line in the main race, the last event of the day. Before it, there were two other duck races, one for children and one for business owners.
For the children's race, The Summit Foundation found leeway on its 850-duck cap and sold 875 total.
"We just snuck a few in on the top, you know," Lawrence said of the children's race that begins with firefighters from Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District dumping the ducks into the river from high up in a crane. "We told them there were 850 in there. Those firefighters are strong — they handled it."
The business ducks race had high volume too, and again the foundation exceeded its pre-race cap of 350 ducks and sold 415 ducks for the race at $100 apiece.
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"So that's $41,500 just in that race," Lawrence said of the event designed specifically for local businesses. "It's unbelievable."
Overall, the main race featured 11,085 ducks. They were released from Maggie Pond and floated their way downriver until they reached the Blue River Plaza by the Welcome Center.
As the ducks started coming in, Lawrence said the foundation was already up to a record amount, $147,000, and added they were still counting.
"We had a huge crowd today," she said. "It was really wonderful to see so many people out here, and it's just a great way everyone can get involved and support The Summit Foundation. We loved it."
In terms of winners, Frank Lilly's duck, No. 2,660, crossed the finish line first and secured the grand prize — $3,000 cash — in the main event.
Liam Keegan, Hanna Holtzberg, James Callison and Richard Rohr rounded out the top five winners, though more than 100 people received prizes, including the owner of the slowest duck of the day.
In the children's race, Colin Troka won first, followed by Lily Willams and Luke Thompson's daughter Ashley in third.
For the business race, Burke and Riley's Irish Pub won the grand prize, an all-expenses paid private, catered snowcat trip for up to 12 people. Blue River Property Management's duck crossed second, and the duck representing the developer Milender White came in third.
The Summit Foundation is a local nonprofit that supports working families, doled out more than 2.5 million in grant money last year to over 100 other local nonprofits and offers scholarships to local students.
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