ESTEVAN - The fifth annual Judy Martin Memorial Duck Derby was a big success for the Estevan Humane Society (EHS).
The fundraiser was held Sunday afternoon along the Souris River and at the free park for Woodlawn Regional Park. Two thousand rubber ducks were dropped into the Souris River by a piece of heavy equipment on the Highway 47 South bridge. The ducks then floated down the river until they reached the finish line.
Tayja Zimmerman, who is the president of the EHS board, said this year marked the second straight year that all 2,000 available tickets for rubber ducks were sold. They raised $10,000 for the humane society, and Pam Franko, the owner of the winning duck, also won $10,000.
The water of the Souris River did not co-operate with the derby, thanks to the current caused by the wind direction, so they moved the finish line closer to the bridge. It took about 10-15 minutes to finish the race.
Elephant Ear Emporium and KoN Artisan Ice Cream were on site with food, and children enjoyed bouncy castles. A lot of families stopped by to enjoy the day, and many of them brought their dogs.
Approximately 100 people were watching when the ducks were dropped into the river, and Zimmerman believes they could have attracted more if the weather would have co-operated.
She was pleasantly surprised that the EHS was able to sell all of the tickets, since they only started selling them in late August.
“We only had two weeks and a day to sell out the tickets,” said Zimmerman. “I was extremely hesitant in thinking we were going to get a sellout this year, but everybody pulled through. We had a tonne of people want tickets, and we had more people wanting tickets, but we didn’t have any more to sell.”
It means they might have more tickets available next year, which would mean a larger prize for the winner, too.
Money raised from the duck derby will be directed towards veterinarian bills and other operational expenses for the shelter. They’re looking to make upgrades in the kitten rooms, with better ventilation.
Food is another big expense at the shelter.
Zimmerman said they could use volunteers and board members to help out with the EHS.
“We’re always looking for volunteers to come down and help with the shelter or we’re looking for board members. That’s a different way to volunteer your time for the animals.”