Rubber Duck Race benefits local organizations

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Members of the National Honor Societies at Creekside, Nease and Ponte Vedra High School are selling duck “adoptions” as part of the effort for this year’s Rubber Duck Race in Ponte Vedra.

This annual event raises money for two organizations in the area: the Ponte Vedra Rotary Foundation and Learn to Read of St. Johns County.

Last year’s race garnered about $22,000 in total fundraising, and race organizers hope to more than double that this year.

“We are blessed to have these students and corporate sponsors helping us with our fundraising this year,” said event organizer and Ponte Vedra Rotarian Gary Smith. “Their efforts show that when young people and local companies set their minds to it, they can help achieve great things for St. Johns County.”

The Rubber Duck Race raises money by encouraging people to “adopt” a duck (or group of ducks) in the race. Adoption fees range from $5 for one ducky up to $100 for the “Quacks Galore” package of 25 duckies.

Top finishers will win prizes, including two round-trip Southwest Airlines ticket vouchers to anywhere in the United States, multiple gift cards to local restaurants and businesses as well as a $100 gift card for the clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass.

Adopt ducks by going to pontevedrarotaryduckrace.com.

“As a volunteer, nonprofit organization, we couldn’t do what we do without the money raised in the Rubber Duck Race,” said Learn to Read’s CEO, Joseph Cinney. “We teach over 200 students a year to read, improve math skills and prepare for the GED, as well as provide English for speakers of other languages adult conversation classes and U.S. citizenship exam preparation. These duckies help keep us afloat.”

The 8th Annual Rubber Duck Race will begin at noon Sunday, May 22. The duckies will be dropped from the north side of the Palm Valley/Ponte Vedra (County Road 210) bridge and will waddle to the finish line opposite the Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill (377 S. Roscoe Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach, headquarters for the event).

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