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Everything’s ‘ducky’ at 19th annual Duck Race

March 14, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Under sunny skies and cool breezes, the Great Calusa Duck races took place last Saturday afternoon, March 3

"This is our 19th annual Duck Race and we've had great crowds since we opened early today," the Calusa Land Trust's Rad Hazen said at the event. "It seems we have a lot of people from out of state."

"This is one of the best turnouts we've ever had," Duck Race coordinator Alice Trant said. "We have an absolutely beautiful day and I believe we've sold out on the Super Duck race and the Rubber Duck race earlier than we ever have."

Article Photos

3,000 ducks are turned loose to begin the race.


The first Great Calusa Duck Race was started in March 1998 where 1,000 rubber ducks assembled for the first time at the Double Nichol Pub as hundreds cheered them on.

The Calusa Land Trust held two duck races at Woody's on Saturday. The "Lucky Duck Race" started at 3:30 p.m. and the "Super Duck Race" consisted of 100 ducks. The winner with Duck #14 was Don Reisner ,who win $1,000.

The winners of the "Great Duck Race" were Cathy Christopher, $1,000, Duck #2010; Jerry Brommer, $500, Duck #710; and Patti Sweeney, $250, Duck #1660.

A Hurricane deck boat was donated by Al Eleinke of Baltimore to the CLT and raffled off. Billy Dutko and Gary Crawford jointly purchased the deck boat for $1,400.

"Billy then turned around and purchased a $100 CLT membership," former CLT president John Kendall said.

"Everything is going much smoother this year," Kendall said during the event. "Because of the change in venue,e we had a few bugs to work out but we've expanded the parking, provided a shuttle from the parking at the church, we have more tables and Low Key Tiki has provided some excellent dishes."

"This was a very successful day for the Calusa Land Trust," Hazen said. "Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, the folks at Low Key Tiki and great community support we raised $27,500 with this years race.

The purpose of the Calusa Land Trust is to protect the natural diversity and beauty of the Pine Island region by acquiring, managing and preserving in perpetuity environmentally sensitive or historically important land and to foster appreciation for and understanding of the environment and our past.



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