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Great Calusa Rubber Duck Race finishes first

March 6, 2019
By ED FRANKS (efranks@breezenewspapers.com) , Pine Island Eagle

The weather was beautiful, the crowds were large, the beer was cold and the food was hot to create the perfect day for the 21st annual Great Calusa Duck Race at Low Key Tiki Saturday.

"Not only is the weather great but the crowds are happy and donors are generous, all resulting in a great fundraiser for the Island's all volunteer land conservancy," race coordinator Alice Trant said. "I believe this may be our most successful duck race ever with proceeds in the range of $30,000."

The winners of the 21st annual Calusa Duck Race:

Article Photos

Calusa Land Trust Chief Ranger Ed Chapin.

ED FRANKS

- Super Duck the co-winners were Donna Smith (ticket #92) and Marvin Risch (ticket #54) who each won $705.

- Great Duck Race the winners were Tom Bergemann (ticket #623) of Punta Gorda with the grand prize of $1,000.

- Jennifer Starr (ticket #433) with $500

- T. Terry (ticket #548) with $250

There were also five runners-ups: Jim Schultz (ticket #1299), Charles Hallatt (ticket #164), Ellen Wolf (ticket #838), Nancy Weir (ticket #249) and Sandy House (ticket #379) who each won a goody bag worth $200+.

"This is our first duck race," Darren Colby said. "We're here for a week and my wife Angel wanted to come. We didn't win but sure had a great time."

There was live entertainment all afternoon from Pine Island Sound featuring Alan and Cindy Bickford and Darryl Tison as well as raffles and spinning wheel games.

"The silent auction is always successful and the prizes and gift certificates donated by local businesses and individuals were bigger and better than ever," former CLT president John Kendall said.

The event also included a live auction (featuring the spirited chant of Johnny Grisson) of some 20 larger ticket items highlighted by several island friendly classic kayaks and canoes.

Low Key Tiki offered a luncheon special for the event and a beer tent for happy duck race celebrants. CW Fudge was also there with its flavored popcorn.

"We're always happy to support anything the preserves our island," CW Fudge co-owner William Tidball said.

"I'd like to thank everyone who participated, whether they won or not, for their support of the Calusa Land Trust in its land conservancy mission," CLT president Robert Ballard said. "We have some wonderful people who work hard to make this a success and today it seems everything just came together."

The purpose of the Calusa Land Trust is to protect the natural diversity and beauty of the Pine Island region by acquiring, managing and preserving in perpetuity environmentally sensitive or historically important land and to foster appreciation for and understanding of the environment and our past.

 
 

 

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