Just shy of $90,000 was distributed to local youth groups during a special Rotary Duck Race awards presentation evening at The ACT last week.
Close to 90 people were invited to attend the dinner reception, to collect a cheque on behalf of their Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows youth group or to be thanked for helping raise that much money.
The Rotary Duck Race was held during the August long weekend, but tickets were sold throughout the spring and summer by various youth groups and both Meadowridge and Haney Rotary Clubs.
It's a huge community fundraiser, that thanks to sponsorship and in-kind gifts, is able to donate every cent earned back to the community - and specifically to local young people.
Event organizer Bob Shantz - affectionately dubbed Papa Duck - was granted the highest honour.
The long-time Rotarian was presented with his third Paul Harris Fellowship, a Rotary-specific honour that is given in recognition of outstanding commitment.
And that's what he has demonstrated during the duck race's three-year history in this community, working tirelessly behind the scenes, coordinating and ensuring the event runs smoothly, Meadowridge Rotary Club president Adrienne Dale said when presenting the award.
"I'm very honoured, to say the least," said Shantz, who isn't known for his long speeches.
He did, however, spend the night - with the help of emcee Fred Armstrong - giving thanks to many other individuals, sponsors, and groups who made this year's event another success.
Shantz noted that through the race's three-year history, they've raised a little more than $250,000 that has gone back directly to youth organizations.
Each group participating sells tickets, knowing 100 per cent of the money raised will come back to them.
There were 27 cheques presented last Wednesday night, the biggest amounts raised by Pitt Meadows Youth Basketball Association (which also happened to sell the grand prize winning ticket). They raised $11,500.
The next highest amount was raised by Ridge Meadows Minor Softball Association, taking home a $10,250 cheque, with the 1st Haney Scouts earning the third highest fundraising goal of $7,600.
It's amazing how "these humble little" rubber ducks make it possible to raise thousands for local groups, Armstrong said.
Although it's a Rotary fundraiser, he and Walton both commented on how much time, energy, and enthusiasm go into making a project of this magnitude possible. In addition to the cheques presented to participating youth groups, acknowledgement was given to all the sponsors, and thanks was given to a few key volunteers.
Duck race presentations
In a presentation from Meadowridge Rotary Club president Adrienne Dale:
“As the president of Meadowridge Rotary Club, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the third annual duck race awards evening. This evening brings to the close another full year of hard work needed to pull together this very successful fundraising event.
“What is so special to me about this event is that it is truly a community event, which brings together the efforts of so many groups in the community for the benefit of all.
“Although it is a Rotary fundraiser, coordinated, and driven by the local Rotary Clubs, headed by our ever long suffering Papa Duck, Bob Shantz and his team, it is you the community groups, Rotarians, volunteers, and sponsors, who make the event possible.
“It is the community as a whole that has bought into the success of the event, by sponsoring prizes, advertising and promoting the event, tireless selling tickets, and volunteering your time up to the event and on the race day.
“The actual race day is also a community event for all to enjoy, pets included. I remember watching from my ‘duck item booth’ as the families enjoyed a day out together enjoying the festivities.
“This evening is aimed at thanking all of you, the community of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, for making this Rotary event such a success for all to enjoy in the community.
“So on behalf of the Rotary Club of Haney and Meadowridge, we thank you for your efforts as we hand back to you the fruits of many months of hard work and trust that the funds will go back into providing funding for well-needed facilities, programs, equipment, and projects – which will ultimately benefit all of us in the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows community.
“Congratulations!” Walton said.
Distribution of funds
1st Albion Scouts - $1,800
1st Haney Scouts - $7,600
1st Laityview Scouts - $2,100
1st Pitt Meadows Scouts - $700
1st Whonnock Scouts - $1,400
1st Yennadon Scouts - $3,300
BC Girls Choir - $2,200
Girl Guides - $300
Glenwood Elementary PAC - $1,300
Golden Ears Athletics - $7,200
Golden Ears Elementary PAC - $2,200
Haney Neptunes - $2,000
Kidsport - $4,000
Knights Football - $4,000
North Fraser Therapeutic Riding Association - $5,500
Pitt Meadows Paddling Club - $1,000
Pitt Meadows Youth Basketball Association - $11,500
Ridge Canoe & Kayak Club - $3,000
Ridge Meadows Minor Ball Hockey Association - $3,800
Ridge Meadows Minor Baseball Association - $1,800
Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association - $900
Ridge Meadows Minor Softball Association - $10,250
Ridge Meadows Speed Skating Association - $3,000
Ridge Meadows Youth & Justice Advocacy Association - $1,600
Special Olympics BC – Ridge Meadows - $700
Webster’s Corners PAC - $350
Whonnock Elementary PAC - $2,100
Maple Ridge fire department youth academy - $1,000
Pitt Meadows fire department youth academy - $1,000
RCMP youth academy - $1,000
Alouette River Management Society - $1,000
Bob Shantz – organizing committee – received a Paul Harris Fellowship award
Peter Davies - distinguished service award
Jose Viveiros, venturer advisor - distinguished service award
Simon Matthews, venturer advisor - distinguished service award
Craig Pengelly, scout leader - distinguished service award
Dane Spence, Maple Ridge fire chief - distinguished service award
Brenda Garcia, consummate duck race volunteer - distinguished service award
Ineke Boekhorst, consummate duck race volunteer - distinguished service award
Irena Shantz - distinguished service award
Ian Speckman - distinguished service award
Certificate of appreciation
Jennifer Johnson, group committee
Reilly Viveiros, venturer
Andrew Pengelly, venturer
David Pengelly, venturer
Russell Pengelly, venturer
Jeremy Matthews, venturer
Sebastien Porlier, venturer
A.J. Hurford, Volkswagen
Kimberly Conway, Maple Ridge Fiat
Phil Goncalves, cub leader ADC training
Cristi Goncalves, beaver leader ADC colony
Shaun Collard, fire department
Adam Taylor, fire department
Mark Wolfe, fire department
Austin Garcia, Pitt Meadows Day Parade
Glen Cote, Knight Football team
Certificate of participation
Charles Porlier, cub leader ADC recognition
Brielle Porlier, scout
William Doerksen, Pitt Meadows Day Parade
Rebecca Johnson, scouts
Matthew Gonclaves, duck mix
Andrew Gonclaves, duck mix
Friends In Need Food Bank, extended use of truck
Kim Cote, Knights Football Team
Cade Cote, Knights Football Team
Tanya Armstrong, Knights Football Team
Hayley Armstrong, Knights Football Team
Jim Pattenden, Knights Football Team
Geri Pattenden, Knights Football Team
Mark Ogloff, Knights Football Team
Jill Ogloff, Knights Football Team
Tyrell Ogloff, Knights Football Team
Blake Alford, Knights Football Team
James Piron, Knights Football Team
Carrie Kline, Knights Football Team
Karma Knapp, Knights Football Team
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