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Duck Race Draws Families, Agencies, Entertainment To Sandy Hook



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While a large cluster of numbered rubber ducks got off to a difficult start after being dumped into a rock formation under the Church Hill Road Pootatuck River bridge during the Newtown Lions Club’s 2023 Duck Race fundraiser, the preceding activities and entertainment had lifted attendees’ spirits sufficiently that there were few if any complaints.

According to long-time duck race organizer Bob Schmidt, 2,494 yellow rubber ducks were accounted for and loaded into a bucket loader that delivered them to the bridge. Those who adopted one or more of those ducks — regardless of whether they were prize winners — helped net over $10,000, which the Lions will utilize for programs supporting or benefiting many local charities and organizations in the coming year.

Schmidt previously told The Newtown Bee that the Lions Club is grateful to Newtown residents and businesses who have supported the Duck Race now for over 21 years, raising over $220,000 for local charities.

The June 3 event featured booths from about a dozen local organizations and agencies featuring crafts, a toy boat race, samples, and information about the organizations represented by participants. The Lions Club supplied an 18-foot slide, a bounce house, along with mini golf and a bean bag toss.

Below is the final official listing of 2023 Duck Race winners and their corresponding prizes — with the exception of the first prize from the Lions Club, all others were generously donated:

1. $2,000 check from the Newtown Lions Club to winner Nancy Goldman of Sandy Hook

2. Three one-month memberships to Porco Karate Academy valued at $450 to winner Anna Lawler of Sandy Hook

3. $100 Gino’s Parlor gift card & $80 Salon Michelle gift card to winner Elizabeth White of Newtown

4. $100 Sabrina Style gift card & $50 The Villa gift card to Laurie Wright of Sandy Hook

5. $100 Farmhouse gift card to Phyllis Page of Sandy Hook

6. $100 Sal e Pepe gift card to Jen Kinsmann of Newtown

7. $100 Pizza Palace gift card to Phil Keane of Fairfield

8. $100 Sugo Gastrobar gift card to Michael Talluto of Newtown

9. $75 Berkshire Motors gift card to Marnie Feder of Newtown

10. $50 One-year subscription to The Newtown Bee & $25 Peach Blossom Boutique to Timmy Hays of Newtown

11. $50 Nassar’s Hair Salon gift card & a $25 Cover Two gift card to Cynthia Joyce of Newtown

12. $50 Butcher’s Best gift card & $25 Cover Two gift card to Sue Body of Newtown

13. $50 Big Y gift card & $25 Cover Two gift card to Diane Savinelli of Newtown

14. $50 Blue Colony Diner gift card & $25 Cover Two gift card to Elaine Landau of Newtown

15. $70 of Edmond Town Hall movie passes to Dr Aaron Coopersmith of Newtown

16. $50 My Place gift card to Denise Buckley of Monroe

17. $50 Tambascio’s gift card to Jon Christensen of New Hampshire

18. $50 Marketplace gift card to Keith Fitchett of Sandy Hook

19. Two $25 tickets to the Town Players Little Theater to Jim Funk of Newtown

20. $25 Toy Tree gift card to Karen McCann, Ohio

After the ducks were dropped, three consolation prizes were also awarded from BD Provisions, Newtown Cleaners, and Sandy Hook Diner. For more information about, or to volunteer with or join the Newtown Lions Club, visit the organization’s Facebook page or newtownlions.org.

Craig Ashurst directs members of his Ashurst Academy of Irish Dance in rehearsal before taking the stage to entertain attendees at the 2023 Newtown Lions Club Great Pootatuck Duck Race. —Bee Photos, Voket
Tyler DeShay, left, and Jude Tisi use old school fireplace bellows to create wind for the sails of their toy boats as they race along a split course at the 2023 Sandy Hook Duck Race. The boat racing, sponsored by local Cub Scout Pack 270, was one of about a dozen community booths that were part of the June 3 festival.
Newtown’s youngest Lions member Jordan D’Amico begins transferring the numbered rubber ducks to a bucket loader for their short but important trip to the “launching area” on the Church Hill Road bridge above the Pootatuck River. —Bee Photo, Voket
From left, Vincenza McNulty chats with Friends of Newtown Seniors (FONS) volunteers Yvonne and Frnk Monette, and Annmarie Durkin at the local organization's booth at this year's Duck Race.
A group of young crafters showed off their talents at a Duck Race booth sponsored by the Newtown Center of Classical Ballet. —Bee Photo, Voket
Owner Michael Porco, far right, instructs young members of his Porco’s Karate Academy before those gathered in front of the 2023 Duck Race stage.
This year's Duck Race event featured a pair of inflatable amusement activities for youngsters provided by the Newtown Lions Club.
The main event of this year's Duck Race happened just after 2:30 pm June 3, when a bucket loader dumped nearly 2,500 numbered rubber ducks into the Pootatuck River capping off the major fundraiser for the Newtown Lions Club. —Bee Photos, Voket
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