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Sunday’s Salida Sunrise Rotary’s 10th Anniversary Celebration wasn’t just a celebration of service to the community. It grossed more than $18,000 for scholarships.

While results are still being finalized, Sunday’s Lucky Ducky Race at Riverside Park, demonstrated that the whole community was a winner.  According to Salida Sunrise Rotary Club Treasurer Jan Schmidt, the event grossed over $18,000.  “Our main purpose is to give back to the community with events like this”, Schmidt said. “Monies raised are used locally for scholarships and grants — it’s a win-win for all, she added.”

Among the dozens of sponsors were individuals, businesses, and organizations including Salida Pharmacy & Fountain, Housing + Health Chaffee.org, Steve O’Neill, Brady’s West, and Elizabeth Little, to name but a few.

In celebration of their Tenth Anniversary, the Salida Sunrise Rotary event offered live, local music, games for kids, duck decorating and a chance to visit with the KHEN Chicken.  New this year, organizers opened up the lawn at Riverside Park to booths from more than a dozen local nonprofits.

In addition to applying for financial support of their charitable, educational, and humanitarian projects/events, these groups used the celebration to introduce their work and their volunteers to locals and visitors alike.  “It was like a mellow neighborhood block party”, one attendee remarked, “and a great way to greet old friends as well as welcome new arrivals to Chaffee County.”

The kids had a great time racing small ducks in gutters, painting rocks and small ducks, and making a daisy craft.  Everyone enjoyed the fabulous music by Hank Martin (playing Americana/Folk Music) and Gibson Creek (playing Classic Rock), the always-amazing performance by the Salida Circus, and meeting with many local non-profit organizations.

Three duck races were planned, and there were even a few “fun races” where people could sponsor a youth-decorated duck.

All the decorated ducks were displayed before they raced in the Lucky Ducky Races, including the creative work of the Platinum Sponsors and the youth-decorated Gold-sponsored ducks.  The public voted for the “Best Decorated” platinum duck early in the afternoon, and the popular vote resulted in a top spot for KW Construction & Restoration.

A panel of judges voted for their favorite youth-decorated duck.

The winners included:

Platinum Sponsors:

1st place – Monarch Manufacturing

2nd place – Adriana De Anda with Pinon Real Estate Group

3rd place – Kate Woolman State Farm

Gold Sponsors: 

1st place – American Overhead Door

2nd place – Cliff Wurster

3rd place – Mt. Princeton Hot Springs

Silver Sponsors:

1st place – Julie Richardson

2nd place – Chaffee Printing Center

3rd place – Murdoch’s Ranch & Home

At all three levels, the prizes are a scholarship in the business/organization’s choice of name during the next school year.  First place is a $1,500 scholarship, 2nd place is a $1,250 scholarship, and 3rd place is a $1,000 scholarship.

Best Decorated Platinum Duck (determined by a public vote):  KW Construction & Restoration

Favorite Youth-Decorated Gold Duck (determined by a panel of judges):

1st place – Mackenzie from Boys & Girls Club of Chaffee County

2nd place – A duck decorated by the team of Scarlett, Tegan, and Curtis from the 4th-grade class at Longfellow

Featured image: Three of the Winning Platinum Ducks first through third: Monarch Manufacturing, Adriana De Anda with Pinon Real Estate Group, Kate Woolman State Farm. Not pictured: the top Lucky Ducky won by KW Construction & Restoration.