Rubber ducks race for Cancer Society

August 16, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- A few spectators waded into Conococheague Creek on Sunday for a better view and cooler spot to watch 1,100 rubber ducks make their 20th annual journey downstream to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Boy Scout Troop 99 dumped the tagged rubber ducks into the water shortly after 1 p.m. People purchased tickets to correspond with those tags, making a donation to area cancer services and hoping to win a prize.

The number of ducks and number of spectators had diminished greatly since 2008, when a record 2,600 ducks had sponsors.

"Certain events have been down because of the economy," said organizer Chris Ardinger, who worked at several fairs through an American Cancer Society internship.

After nine years of running the Duck Derby, Ardinger and Lon Bender will be stepping aside.

"We're hoping someone else picks it up," Ardinger said, saying that he starts college in the fall, but will definitely attend the Duck Derby in future years.


Stacey Foreman of Greencastle attended the derby for the first time last year. On Sunday, she returned to the Sportsman's Club with her mother and grandson.

"It's fun," Foreman said. "It's for a good cause."

Foreman said she was awed by the number of rubber ducks tossed into the water.

"I was amazed last year," she said.

Katey and Nikki Fleegle, and their grandparents, enjoyed the event's new car show before the ducks started to travel.

"There's duck racing and there's a lot of old-time cars," said Katey, 10.

"Some of the people are friends of mine," grandfather Tim Marsh said, saying he has a 1965 Mustang and 1964 Falcon.

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