Vail Daily column: 10 reasons to adopt a duck for Rotary

Bobbie Ruh
The Evergreen Rotarian
More than 10,000 rubber ducks made their way down Gore Creek last year for the annual Vail Rotary Rubber Duck Race.
Rick Spitzer | Special to the Daily |

If you adopt a duck that races in the annual Rotary Duck Race, to be held on Aug. 31 at 3 p.m. in Vail Village, then not only will you have a chance to win one of many wonderful prizes donated by local merchants or the grand prize of $5,000, you will also be supporting one of the most dynamic an vibrant service organizations in the world.

Ten Reasons to adopt a duck

10. The Vail Rotary Club has been actively supporting the Vail community since 1970. It was a pioneer in establishing the first 911 call service in the Vail Valley, the first emergency telephone on Vail Pass and in 1972 raised $100,000 to help fund the growth of the Vail Valley Medical Center.

9. The Vail Rotary participates in the Rotary Polio Plus program, the goal of which is to eradicate polio from the face of the earth — and we are “this close.”

Support Local Journalism

8. The Vail Rotary Club has been instrumental in starting other nonprofits in the valley, including the Vail Blind Skier program in 1987, the Thrifty Shop in 1995 (which now raises over $250,000 annually), the Bright Future Foundation to prevent and intervene in domestic abuse, and the Children’s Health Initiative, a model health care provider for the uninsured.

7. The Vail Rotary Club provides free dictionaries to every third-grade student in the Vail Valley and has been providing scholarship assistance to students in the Vail Valley since 1977.

6. The Vail Rotary Club built and maintains Julia’s Deck on Shrine Pass, and has provided for local shelters at school bus stops.

5. The Vail Rotary Club uses a significant portion of the Duck Race proceeds to make grants to numerous charitable organizations in the valley.

4. The Vail Rotary Club supports many school sports teams and other community groups by sharing the proceeds of Duck Race sales made by their members.

3. The Vail Rotary Club sends two to three local high school students abroad each year to countries in Europe, Asia and South America to experience a school year in another culture and to serve as an ambassador for our valley, state and country. The Vail Rotary Club also hosts two to three foreign students in the Vail Valley each year. These students attend Battle Mountain or Eagle Valley High School and spend a school year experiencing American culture and values and serving as cultural ambassadors for their countries. In the past school year we hosted students from Hungary, Brazil and Taiwan and sent students to Poland, Austria, Taiwan, Ecuador and Hungary.

2. The Vail Rotary Club sends local high school students to Rotary Youth Leadership camps. Rotary Youth Leadership camps encourage servant leadership in youth by recognizing and rewarding deserving 11th grade students who are chosen to attend Rotary Youth Leadership camps as an “award” for their past and present leadership and service activities. These select young people attend an all-expenses-paid camp where they are inspired by a diverse group of exceptional speakers, make life-long friends through fellowship activities and discuss the ethical and social issues of today.

1. The Vail Rotary Duck Race is the most darn fun you can have in Vail Valley over Labor Day weekend! Over 10,000 elite and highly-trained rubber duck athletes risk life and limb to battle tempestuous rabid killer fish, voracious spectators and each other in a nail-biting and heart-stopping race to the finish line. Will your duck be the champion this year? If you snooze, then you’re sure to lose — so adopt a duck and be there or be square.

Bobbie Ruh is a former administrative law judge and attorney who specialized in tax and estate planning for 35 years, taught at the University of Colorado Law School, is the current president of the Rotary District Youth Exchange Program and is a Rotarian.

Support Local Journalism