Heather Treat Memorial Duck Race best ever


By Dixie Terry

The Goreville Village Park proved to be an awesome location on Sunday, May 14, for the annual Heather Treat Memorial fundraiser, according to the event organizer, Robin Harper-Whitehead.

The fundraiser that provides monetary gifts for Johnson County cancer patients, was first held at a pond north of Vienna in 2006. It has also been held at the Kornbread Junction pond and at Bella Terry Winery.

The event was very different this year, and without a body of water at the park, all the numbered ducks, 3,434 of them, were dropped from a red helicopter hovering over a ground target.

If a duck landed in the $3000 target, its owner split the money with any other ducks who landed there. 28 ducks landed in that hot spot, so each owner won $107.14.

The second target was a $2000 win, with 159 ducks making a landing there, and each of these bringing a $12.57 win for its owner.

Some lucky duck owners had more than one winner, so the biggest win was $294.89, and the least was $4.44.

A total of 257 persons have been awarded checks for their wins.

Those who sold the winning ducks were also winners. One duck was drawn from the winners in each of the three categories, and who ever sold those ducks also won money.

The $3000 target seller duck drawn, was by the Goreville United Methodist Church Ladies Group, who won $300.

The $2000 target duck seller was Braden Cain, winner of $200.

The $1000 target duck seller was River-to-River, who won $100.

The top duck sellers, who each won $100 in their category, included: Top Selling Club, Lucky Leaders 4-H. Top Selling Business, Stepheney’s Bargain Boutiques, Marion. Top Selling Church, GUMC Ladies Group. Top Selling School, Cypress Elementary. Top Selling Individual, Pam Morris.

So far $21,331 has been raised, before expenses. However, T-shirts are still being sold. Raffle tickets are also still being sold for the following: a swing settee, built by Jim Stevens and donated by he and his wife, Darlene; a corn hole set, handmade by Gary Parmley; and helicopter rides, with the winners to be announced at the Goreville Freedom Fest fireworks on July 4.

Thirty-eight vendors rented space at $30 each, to show and sell their wares, and were allowed to keep their profit.

208 meals were sold at $10, that included “Bear’s Barbecue” plus a selection of sides and kids’ meals.

There were more fun events underway all afternoon, including an inflatable bouncy house and contests for the youngsters. There were also sack races and a water balloon toss for all ages, with trophies awarded.

Entertainment was provided, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. by “South of 70,” UR Voice DJ and karaoke; local talent onstage; and a few unexpected performances.

And who picked up the remainder of the 3,434 ducks that were not winners? An impromptu contest was set up and dozens of youngsters got them gathered in no time short.

The Heather Treat Memorial was started in March 1994, after the 26-year-old daughter of Kathy and Dean Harper passed away from colon cancer.

Her family learned from experience of the expenses that were entailed in travel, lodging and meals, that occur when a family member is hospitalized.

Many had donated to the family, and with those money gifts as the nucleus, they decided to help other cancer patients in our county.

So far, $271,054.07 has been given, with $19,200 provided in 2017 to the county’s cancer patients.

The 12th Annual Duck Race is already being planned for Sunday, May 6, 2018, at the Goreville Village Park.

Anyone wanting information on the Heather Treat Memorial can contact 618-967-9528.

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