Vail Rotary fundraising down from last year |

Vail Rotary fundraising down from last year

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
NWS Duck Race2 SM 8-14

VAIL, Colorado – Rubber ducks floating down the Gore Creek might not sound like much, but the ducks are racing toward a good cause.

The Vail Rotary Club is realizing the severity of the sluggish economy as it tries to raise money for its annual duck race on Labor Day Weekend. Proceeds from the race go to the Salvation Army’s food bank and the Children’s Medical Voucher Program, which gives local children without health insurance vouchers for medical care.

At this time last year, the Rotary raised about 60 percent more than it has this year, said Bob Redwine, Vail Rotary’s president. The club is changing its fundraising strategies as a result, he said.

The rubber duck race happens Sept. 6 – thousands of rubber ducks begin the journey down Gore Creek at the Covered Bridge and race toward the finish line near the International Bridge. Ducks sell for $5 a piece, and the first 20 that cross the finish line receive prizes.

“The kids go nuts – it’s really cool,” said Alison Wadey, a Rotary member.

The grand prize was $10,000 last year, but the economy has changed the face of fundraising, meaning the prizes were also adjusted. The grand prize this year is $5,000.

“The duck race last year netted about $60,000,” Redwine said. “This year we’re targeting for $40,000, and we’ll probably have trouble meeting that.”

The Rotary has kicked off what its calling its “final stage fund drive,” meaning between now and Sept. 6 the club is focusing on smaller donations from more people, rather than its typical focus on large donations from less people.

The club typically relies on major contributions from big businesses, but fundraising just doesn’t work like it used to in this economic climate, Redwine said.

“Hopefully we can get a lot of local businesses to contribute ($100 each) and close the gap on our shortfall,” Redwine said.

The cause helps locals, but Rotary is also an international club serving interests around the world, he said. That’s why it’s important to keep the community effort going for the club, he said.

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