Oodles of ducks take to Mill Creek

About 19,500 rubber duckies were release at Saturday into Mill Creek for the 2017 Ducky Derby.

The 20th Annual Ducky Derby saw a record number of tickets sold and 18 big winners of prizes from a 2017 Toyota Corolla to gift cards and sunglasses worth $250 each.

On Saturday, just over 19,500 rubber ducks were released into Mill Creek adjacent Walla Walla Community College.

Event organizer Scott Adams said this was a record year for ticket sales.

The annual duck dump was preceded by a festival that included 20 community information booths, where many items were given away. And at the Walla Walla County Rural Library District booth, they gave away a gift to last a lifetime — the gift of reading.

“It’s a supplement to our community outreach programs and a good way to promote our summer school reading program,” said library Director Rhonda Gould.

Each year for about $2,000, the district gives out roughly 5,000 books to children. And for the last five years, about 600 of those books have been given away at the derby.

Adding to the value is the fact that most of the books are hardbacks and by well-known authors such as Rick Riordan of the Percy Jackson series or Stephenie Meyer of the Twilight saga.

Touchet Librarian Eryn Garcia added they also give away classics like “Anne of Green Gables.”

“You got some books that are intergenerational,” Garcia said. “So you will get a mom that says to her child that she has read this book too.”

As for the Ducky Derby’s big give away, a total of $77,000 was raised in duck ticket sales, which will be distributed around the Valley to nonprofits and in support of the Walla Walla Exchange Club mission of Americanism, community service, youth activities and child abuse prevention.

Here is a roundup of Ducky Derby winners:

First: $12,500 or 2017 Toyota Corolla — Donna Ledford, Walla Walla

Second: $1,115 one year YMCA family membership — Jon Fager, Walla Walla

Third: $1,100 Victoria, British Columbia getaway — Don and Liz Plucker, Everett, Wash.

Fourth: $1,060 2017 Walla Walla Sweets Baseball season package — James Ruff, Walla Walla

Fifth: $1,040 DeWalt Tool Chest Combo — Jim Byrnes, Walla Walla

Sixth: $1,000 catering event by Olive Marketplace & Café — Nelson Irrigation

Seventh: $1,000 in gas at Zip Zone — Lucero Mendoza

Eighth: $1,000 portrait or restoration at Walla Walla Portraits Design — Anne Knudtsen, Walla Walla

Ninth: $799 Honda EU1000i Generator — Sara VanDonge, Walla Walla

10th: $655 Diamond Cluster Pendant — Brandon Papworth, Walla Walla

11th: $600 Chef’s Table Dinner for eight at Courtyard Marriott Walla Walla  — Jef Bockmann, Walla Walla

12th: $600 Scenic Flight for two, Walla Walla University Aviation Department — Kay Holsclaw, College Place

13th: $590 Golf, lodging and dining at Wildhorse Resort & Casino  — Nelson Irrigation

14th: $539 Trek 8.2 DS 15.5” Frame Bike — Kit Chryst, Walla Walla

15th: $500 credit at Hot Poop — Jodi Raymond, College Place

16th: $500 credit at Les Schwab Tire Centers — Susie Holbrook

17th: $500 25-ounce Monarch Silver Bar — Trina McCoon, College Place

18th: $250 credit at Wenzel Nursery and $250 sunglasses from Valley Vision — Chris Hedine, Walla Walla

Alfred Diaz can be reached at alfreddiaz@wwub.com or 526-8325.