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Ringers try to crash duck race

August 29, 2009|By MARIE GILBERT

FUNKSTOWN -- There was no "fowl" play Saturday afternoon as several real ducks tried to take part in the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co.'s annual duck race.

Unfortunately for them, only toy ducks were eligible.

Watching the mallards skim along the edge of Antietam Creek just added to the fun of the annual event, which is a significant fundraiser for the organization.

About 1,500 small numbered toy ducks were sold, either at $5 each or seven for $25.

According to Chief Dave Fraley, the group hoped to realize about $4,000 following expenses.

With the blaring of the fire company's siren, the race got under way at 2 p.m., when the colorful toy ducks were dumped into Antietam Creek from a bridge on Frederick Street.

Volunteers, some in canoes, others knee-deep in the creek, used paddles and fishing nets to spread the ducks out and keep them from getting tangled along the creek banks.

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Spectators gathered near the water's edge hoping their duck would be the first to cross the finish line just downstream from the historic stone bridge behind the fire station.

Amanda Maynard of Boonsboro won the $300 grand prize when her duck outraced the others and came in first.

Pam Snoots' duck crossed the line second, earning the Hagerstown woman $200, and James Longmore of Hagerstown received $100 when his duck finished third.

Among the spectators was Cathy Nealis of Martinsburg, W. Va., who had a duck in the race.

"I only have one, but it's going to win," she said.

Nealis said she participated last year and didn't win, but decided to give it another try on Saturday.

"My son-in-law is a volunteer with the fire company and this is a way to show support," she said.

Larry Iseminger, who chaired the event, said this was the 10th year for the duck race.

"It's become a popular community event," he said. "It's definitely more fun than most of the fundraisers we do."

In addition to the top three winners, Iseminger said prizes including cash and gift certificates were awarded to the next 26 winners.

Iseminger said the event also included a $300 grocery raffle.

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