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Funkstown fundraiser features 2,000 ducks, but none quack up

August 27, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER/Staff Correspondent

FUNKSTOWN - Antietam Creek was fluorescent with a bevy of colored rubber duckies on Saturday.

Racing toward the checked flag strung downstream, almost 2,000 duckies floated down the creek as part of the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co.'s annual Duck Race.

The race began atop the Frederick Street Bridge as local firemen dumped bag loads of duckies into the creek below.

In the creek, firefighters in canoes and wet suits waited to guide the ducks to victory.

Once in the water, firemen David Fraley, Paul Hottinger and David Case floated along with the ducks, helping them avoid debris as they meandered their way downstream.

Larry Iseminger, president of the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co., said that the Duck Race is a special fundraiser for the fire company.

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"The ducks cost $5 each, or you can get seven for $25," he said. "This year, we expect to raise about $6,000."

George Smith of Hagerstown bought seven ducks to race for his 1-year-old grandson, Alex.

"I thought Alex would enjoy it," he said.

Other residents bought their ducks literally, as a side to their submarine sandwich.

"I went to Gracie's Sub Shop up the street for a sub, and she was selling the ducks," said Krista Harbaugh of Hagerstown. "So I bought one for each of us."

While many showed up on Saturday to watch their duck compete for glory, Iseminger said the winners did not need to be present to claim their prizes.

"If a winner isn't here, we will mail them their prize," he said.

As the ducks navigated their way toward the finish line, local residents lined the banks of the Antietam to cheer on their duck.

"Go blue," shouted 4-year-old Keegan Childers of Williamsport.

According to Iseminger, the fire company would award the first 40 ducks to cross the finish line with a prize.

As the ducks finally made their way to the end of the race, it was duck number 669 that took the checkered flag and $300 award for first place. The owner of the duck was not announced.

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