Rotarians are rolling out the rubber ducks |

Rotarians are rolling out the rubber ducks

The Rotary club's annual Rubber Duck Race returns to Vail Village on Sunday.

VAIL, Colorado – Gore Creek through Vail Village will run yellow this afternoon, as 14,000 rubber ducks race from above the Covered Bridge to the International Bridge.

You, yes you, can still buy ducks for this year’s 14th annual rubber-duck race.

It costs $5 to adopt a duck, and you could win $5,000, a better return on investment than the stock market or any political campaign ever run.

You can buy ducks at or at stores around the county and farmers’ markets up to 30 minutes before the race.

Other local nonprofits are selling ducks. Rotary gives them 60 percent of the money from every duck they sell, said Diana Meehan, this year’s president of Vail’s Rotary Club.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

“It’s a wonderful cause, and it’s so much fun,” Meehan said.

And it turns out they have plenty of ducks.

Rotarian Bob McNichols owns Marketplace on Meadow Drive, and he picked up the tab for the Rotary Club’s 14,000 rubber ducks.

The kids’ race is at 2 p.m. That’s where kids, yours or other people’s, hit you up for $10 so they can buy a souvenir duck. Meehan suggests that since it’s for Rotary and all of their good causes, one souvenir duck is simply not enough. They put their names on them, and all manner of other identifying markings, and race them through Vail Village.

The Rotary Club has been active in the valley for more than 25 years, and the Rubber Duck Race is its biggest fundraiser.

They’re Rotarians, and they’re fairly incorruptible, so they spend the money on stuff such as dental health for local kids, college scholarships for kids from local high schools, dictionaries for all of the third-graders in Eagle County’s schools, various Salvation Army functions … the list goes on and on.

Rotary’s international arm does things such as clean-water projects in areas around the world that don’t have it.

Then there’s Rotary’s International polio eradication program. Bill Gates has partnered with Rotary International, and after years, there are only two areas in the world that still report cases of polio, one area of India and a small part of Africa.

Then there’s their peace initiative. Rotary’s International Youth Exchange sends high school juniors to other parts of the world, and kids from around the U.S. come here. Eagle Valley High School student Maggie Gilman is in Hungary for a year.

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