Duck Derby generates funds and FUN

It sounds like the Hot Springs Rescue Squad benefit Duck Derby is going to be an annual affair. This year community members and hotel guests purchased over six- hundred rubber ducks, you know, the kind Ernie used to sing along with on Sesame Street. Debbie Young, rescue squad member, and coordinator for the event described how it works.
“There was a release gate. The ducks were placed in the water, and the gate was released, lifted, and the ducks were released, and they went down the water all at the same time. And lots of people purchased multiple ducks.”
The race ended behind the bank parking lot in Hot Springs.
Debbie Young:
“Six lucky winners did get pulled, and we also had a prize for the last place.
We had two races. Race number one, First place winner was Steve Gardiner Junior, second place was Corbin Spurgeon, and third place was Meghan Ailstock. In race number two, first place was Lannie Woodzell, second place was Fern Pritt, and third place was Dr. Jim Reddington.”
Each year things will improve as the race maintenance crew gets to know the course, and thankfully the minimal risks, a little better.
“Last year we had a lot of ducks that went AWOL. So we lined the banks this year with those noodles that you . . . and so we lined the banks, and that kept our ducks from going AWOL.
Debbie Young described the after-race party too, that included hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks, and music.
“DJ Willlie came out and did the tunes for us that evening, and everybody was able to dance, and just have a really good time.”
The proceeds from the event go towards sending Hot Springs volunteers to Rescue College, and sometime to state competitions. The corporate sponsors make the prize money possible, as well as the food and refreshments the crowd enjoys afterwards. Debbie expressed thanks to everyone who purchased a duck, or several, and came out to enjoy a fine spring evening.

“The money, as you said, will be used towards training, and we raised over $4,000, cleared.
Our corporate sponsors included Mrs. Anne Snead, Jerry’s Wrecker Service, McLaughlin and Young Funeral Home, Virginia Hot Springs Realty, Mrs. Murphy Wilson, Dr. Marty Diamond, Jack’s Trash Service, Bath Community Hospital, Phillips Insurance Agency, Jamie Gwin, Bath County Collision, Omni Homestead Resort, Webbs IGA, and we certainly appreciate those donations from those kind-hearted people.“
So, while the Rescue Squad certainly appreciates community support all year-round, a springtime event like this one gives as well as gets.
“Congratualations, especially to the Rescue Squad, and also to those ducks that floated by first.”
“There you go. Thanks, “ said Young.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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