AND… THEY’RE OFF! Out of the gate with blazing speed surged more than one thousand ducks, plastic ones that is. Okay, maybe their speed was a little less than “blazing,” but with the absolutely gorgeous weather and a record crowd, the atmosphere at Sunday’s eighth annual Heather-Harper Treat Memorial Fund Duck Race was certainly on fire.
This fund raiser to assist Johnson County cancer victims and their families has generated an amazing $217,000 since its inception.
The money raised is used for individuals right here in our own area to help pay for anything from food to daily living expenses to medical and hospital bills.
For what is considered by many to be the largest privately sponsored charity fund in Southern Illinois, this year apparently broke all records.
With almost 35 vendors and corporate sponsors for this event as well as many private donations, race founder Robin Harper-Whitehead would not venture any prediction as to what 2014’s final total might be.
The following awards were given for selling ducks for the race:
The County Clerk Girls received the award for the business selling the most ducks with over 500 ducks sold.
Second place went to This N That Shoppe with Courtside Styles, owned by Susie Bench taking third.
Club-Lucky Leaders 4 H Club and 2nd Buncombe Beta Club
Church-Tunnel Hill Community of Christ Church
Individual-Stephaney Odle with Angie Harner in second.
School-Cypress Grade School honoring Sharon Oliver and Goreville School 2nd.
Race Winners and Losers (Race Winners did not have to be present to win). Winners win $500.00 and the person who sold duck wins $100.00.
Losers win $250.00 and the person who sold duck wins $50.00.
Winner-Duck # 28-Michelle Stroud with Angie Harner selling the winning duck.
Loser –Duck # 1695-Cindy Parmley with Southern Trust Bank of Goreville selling the losing duck.
Winner-Duck#1854-Shirley Dalton with Toby Dalton selling the duck.
Loser-Duck #835 Frost Corbett with Sherry Throgmorton selling the duck.
Winner-Duck #2259-Jacob Morrison with Pam Morris selling the duck.
Loser-Duck #3269-Barb Hollobough and she bought her duck at the race that day.
Prize Winning Ducks (these duck parents had to be present to win)
Lori McClellan-Ping Pong Table
Hannah and Conner Craig-Air Hockey Table
Kim Barr-Electric Cooler with Bud Lite Sign
Three of duck parents were drawn but not present to win for the prizes.
Random Duck Draw Winners-Need not be present to win and they win $25.00 each.
Duck Number and Name
954 Tori Thomas
9 Sam Goddard
880 Jody Terry
964 Josh Morris
1846 Jared Thompson
1467 Laura Edwards
1224 Luke O Neal
2000 Herb & Patsy Chance
2932 Paula Atwood
2420 Lisa Lenon
2890 Sydney Morgan
2560 Margaret Cameron
This year’s corporate sponsors included University of Illinois Extension/4-H Club, Trover Lawn Care, Bella T Winery, Legence Bank, Shawnee Professional Services, Frederick Suits, Annie Morgan Family and Tunnel Hill Community of Christ Church.
Again quoting Robin Harper-Whitehead: “We feel very blessed to have the beautiful weather on Sunday and to have the hundreds of people come to the Duck Race.
We had so many first timers who made statements to us that they just didn’t realize that it was so much fun and like a small festival.” “We want to bring families together for some outdoor fun while raising funds but also giving back to those who are there by our prize money and prizes. The directors of the Memorial are discussing being able to help more than just cancer patients of Johnson County and we hope to be able to announce that this fall.
Without the help of my core volunteers that help from start to finish and the volunteers that jump in and help that day we could not pull this event off.
We always welcome and need more to help us so anyone can just call me and we would be happy to have them.”
As one young boy (Jonathen Simmons) was heard telling his father, “This was better than the Spiderman Movie dad.”