It seems every year, Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank directors announce that it was the best East Kootenay Realty Kimberley Food Bank Duck Race ever, and that continues this year. More money was raised, the weather was perfect, the creek running just right for the ducks to make a quick run down to the Civic Centre and a generous winner donated his prize money to two worthy causes.
The goal was higher this year, with more ducks for sale — 4,000 — up from 3,000 in previous years. And the goal was met, with Food Bank volunteers tirelessly selling tickets for several months. Race organizer Marilyn Jolie of East Kootenay Realty, who furnishes the $2500 first prize herself, reports that the race raised $22,083 — $20,000 from duck sales and $2,083 from the barbecue.
“Every dollar raised goes to the Food Bank because everything is donated by our generous community,” Jolie said.
The first prize winner was Brandon Lucas of Kimberley, who donated his prize of $2500 cash back to the Food Bank and Cops for Kids.
The second prize of a lodging, accommodation and meal package went to Jeff Peterson, third to Angela Symes, who won $250 and plans to purchase a kayak, and fourth to Alan Bowler.
As Jolie said, the duck race is a community event, supported by businesses, individuals and service groups.
Mark Creek Market donated hot dogs and pop for the barbecue. Kimberley Sausage and Meats provided the pulled pork. Don McCormick provided MC services again, with Ray’s Music providing technical support, and Harvey Jolie, Darren Close, Tony Harris, Ruth Heath, Peter Munro, Chris Goodwin, Benjamin Jolie, Sara Jolie, Nancy Silzer, Albert and Dena Meier and Phoebe Ripley retrieved ducks from the creek.
In addition to the first prize furnished by Jolie, Kimberley Lodging Company, Kimberley Golf Course, Gastaus am Platzl, Meadowbrook Greenhouses and Bootleg Gap Golf Course provided prizes.
Audrey Welk and her team and realtors and property managers — Tara Sykes, Wayne Sills and the Rotary ladies with the Rotary trailer —manned the barbecue.
Food Bank volunteers Cath and Terry Oscarson, Stan Salikin, Heather Smith, Donna Purvis, Malcolm and Joan Fruin, Val Bromley and Carol Hughs not only support the duck race but work tirelessly year round to help people in need.