Annual Duck Derby set for Sunday

In a matter of days, the Nippon Paper Industries canal will become a sea of yellow.

Upon closer examination, viewers will see the colorful beaks and outlines of more than 20,000 plastic ducks - all part of the 2009 Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Derby on Sunday, May 17.

Following tradition, Wilder Toyota of Port Angeles has donated a brand new Toyota truck, the keys of which will be handed over to the grand-prize winner.

An additional $40,000 worth of prizes will be offered to the first 59 runners-up, including $2,000 cash to the second-place winner, courtesy of 7 Cedars Casino; $1,500 cash to the third-place winner, also courtesy of 7 Cedars Casino; a $500 gift certificate from Blake Sand & Gravel to the fourth-place winner and a $500 gift certificate from Thomas Building Center for fifth place.

The derby includes two races - the Very Important Duck race, followed by the main derby. The Very Important Duck race is reserved for businesses and individuals who donated $125, $250 or $500.

About 20,000 ducks have been sold so far, but the week before the race is the biggest for selling, said Bruce Skinner, Olympic Medical Center Foundation executive director.

"I'm not sure if we'll beat last year but we will definitely be in the top three," Skinner said.

Last year, 36,660 ducks were "adopted" in the Sequim, Port Angeles and Forks areas - the largest number ever - making the Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Derby the most successful per capita duck race in the world.

Ducks are available at Thomas Building Center, 301 W. Washington St., in Sequim and Swain's General Store, 602 E. First St., in Port Angeles, as well as other venues.

Ducks cost $5 each or six for $25.

Proceeds benefit the Olympic Medical Center Foundation - going largely toward hospital equipment - and the Sequim Rotary Club's various charitable projects.

Over a 19-year span, more than $1,600,000 has been raised for charities, including the Olympic Medical Center Foundation, Sequim's radiation oncology center, Forks Soroptimists, Kiwanis, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula and

Sequim Rotary.

To join the fun and see if your duck is a winner, head down to the Nippon Paper Industries mill site on Marine Drive in Port Angeles this weekend or tune in to KONP, 1450 AM or 102.1 FM.

Reach Ashley Miller at

A very ducky

event, indeed

Who: Olympic Medical Center Foundation

What: 2009 Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Derby

When: 11:30 a.m. Sunday, May 17

Where: Nippon Paper Industries, 1815 Marine Drive, Port Angeles

Contact: For more information, go online to

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