Ducks defy economic current

Met by sunshine and temperatures in the high 60s, families and friends gathered at the Nippon Paper Industries canal in Port Angeles on Sunday to watch the annual Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Derby.

Children and adults posed for pictures with the giant duck mascot and Happy Tymer Clowns, played games, colored ducks, and ate hotdogs and cotton candy.

Students and staff from Port Angeles High School helped run the children's events.

The derby netted about $120,000, although the final numbers haven't been tallied yet, said Bruce Skinner, Olympic Medical Foundation executive director.

Proceeds are split between the Olympic Medical Center Foundation and the Sequim Rotary Club's charitable projects according to each group's sales.

"It was our fifth best year ever," Skinner said of the event, "and in this economy, we are very happy with that."

Released from a large dump truck, the ducks splashed into the water and floated across the finish line within minutes. The owners of the first 45 ducks to cross the finish line won prizes.

The Gilchrist family, of Port Angeles - Jan, Jim, Jacob, Jeremy and Joshua - won the top prize: a

Toyota tuck donated by Wilder Toyota.

The family had only one duck entered into the race of more than 30,447 ducks.

Bill Shea, of Sequim, won the second place prize: $2,000 cash donated from 7 Cedars Casino.

Other Sequim winners are H2O Plumbing, Moe Lisenkoff, Rita Dubord, Jennifer Layman, Harvey Smith, Sharin Metcalf, Pat Ranstrom, Craig Paulson, Joel Leeves and Charles Gott.

KONP broadcast the event live from the Nippon mill site.

Ashley Miller can be reached at ashleyo@


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