Record-setting Derby |

Record-setting Derby

Dear Editor:I wanted to take this time to thank everyone who participated in this past Saturday’s Rotary Club Ducky Derby. It was a perfect day, and the event was a blast. We completely sold out of ducks and had 25,000 of our yellow friends racing down the Roaring Fork River. Two longtime Aspen families, the Cheos and the Howies, adopted the ducks who came in first and second place. Despite the difficult economic environment, 2009 will be our most successful Ducky Derby ever because of the enthusiastic participation of our community, numerous local youth groups, Rotarians and the generous support of our local business sponsors led by Two Old Hippies, John Olson Builders and Morris & Fyrwald/Sotheby’s International Realty. This year there were more than 100 businesses and individuals who helped sponsor Ducky Derby and donated prizes to our silent auction. This participation set a record and is a tribute to the altruistic spirit of Aspen. Thanks to all our sponsors, we covered the entire cost of running the Derby. That allowed 100 percent of the revenues from merchandise sales, duck “adoptions,” games, food and drinks to be donated to worthy groups in the valley and beyond. From Ducky Derby proceeds, Rotary funds local youth groups, scholarships for Aspen and Basalt high school graduates, grants for worthy local charities and international health and human service efforts.When the Rotary Club established Ducky Derby 18 years ago as a summer family festival for locals and guests (and to raise a little money for charity in the process), we had no idea it would grow to be this big. Today it is one of Aspen’s most popular summer events and one of the valley’s most successful annual fundraisers. Everyone has fun; it helps bond the members of our club together in community service; it creates a terrific family day in Rio Grande Park; and it raises a lot of money for this community and international service projects.For everyone who participated in the Derby – our sponsors; the kids who sold ducks; the thousands of people who bought ducks; our event judges, Mayor Mick Ireland and State Sen. Gail Schwartz; all the dedicated Rotarians who spent countless hours selling ducks and organizing the event; and this great community that has supported the Ducky Derby for 18 successful years – I wish you a warm and heartfelt “Thank You.”Michael FoxHead Duck 2009

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