EUGENE, Ore. — Six local non-profits will be receiving big financial help after all of the money raised in The Great Rotary Duck Race. Alton Baker Park was filled today with supporters of these organizations that are receiving funds to help prevent child abuse.
“I feel excited,” said Patricia Wigney, executive director at Bridgeway House.
Bridgeway House helps families and children affected by autism. Today, they received a helping hand from The Great Rotary Duck Race.
“These funds will help families in the home programs where we go into the homes and we give the families and the children the skills to cope with the struggles and stress of the disabilities,” said Wigney.
Wigney’s excitement was felt by everyone who came out to the event.
After weeks of selling and buying rubber ducks to help raise money for the cause, people anxiously awaited along the Willamette River in hopes their duck floated past the finish line first.
Organizers say today couldn’t have turned out any better.
“It is a gorgeous day to race some rubber ducks and raise some money to prevent child abuse in our community,” said Aimee Walsh, an organizer and part of the Duck Race flock.
“It’s a great turnout and it’s going to be a fabulous race. we’ve sold our fourth highest amount of ducks ever,” said Diana Bray, another member of the Duck Race flock.
Michael Hoekstra and his daugter, Lexi, weren’t big winners today but say supporting these organizations is a greater victory.
“Ending that cycle of abuse is just really important to us. I’ve had friends who were abused as kids and I’d just like to see it mitigated as possible,” said Hoekstra.
“It’s important work that we do. It’s service above self, it’s helping kids, and it’s collaborative. We’re making a difference and it’s so much fun,” said Bray
Organizers say Lane County has the highest child abuse rate in Oregon and they’d like to see it drop.
The first place prize was a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado and second place prize was a 2013 Volkswagon Jetta. This year, over 60,000 ducks were sold and that raised around $300,000.
The first place winner this year was Sue Harper. The second place prize went to William Davidson.