First Posted: 7/9/2011
LUMBERTON — Nearly 200 people gathered on Saturday to support a flock of plastic ducks — and the Boys and Girls Club of Lumberton and Robeson County — in the club’s ninth annual duck race in Stephens Park.
According to Ron Ross, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, at least 350 ducks were sold for the race, and more than $8,700 was raised to for the club’s program services.
“It turned out fantastic,” he said.
Ross took the tub of ducks in a boat to the middle of the river at noon and dumped them to start the race. The ducks quickly dispersed into small clusters as they began their 300-yard journey downstream.
A good handful of those ducks belonged to Mayme Tubbs, of Lumberton, who said she purchased at least 25.
“I’ve been coming here for years and my husband is on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club,” she said. “To be honest, I love the whole thing, and I love the river because I’m originally from Lumberton.”
Within 20 minutes, the lucky duck that won its owner the cash prize — No. 277 — crossed the finish line. The duck’s owner, Kay Davidson of Fayetteville, was not in attendance, so she will pocket $1,000, If she had been there, the prizes was $3,000.
“I was thrilled to pieces,” she said she asked how she felt when told she had eon. “Ron called my husband and told him I’d won … I think the Boys and Girls Club is a wonderful endeavor, and I was just excited.”
Davidson said the ticket was given to her in May as a gift. She did not have any plans yet for the money.
Will Thomas, a wealth manager and financial adviser with Merrill Lynch in Fayetteville, was on hand to present a $100 savings bond as a door prize on behalf of Merrill Lynch.
“One of the things Bank of America’s really big on is community service,” Thomas said. “Quite honestly, growing up I was a member of the Boys and Girls Club as well. It’s definitely a good organization, and it’s just a good cause.”
Thomas said he looks forward to taking part in the race again next year.
“We’ll probably even give out a bigger prize,” he said.
The fun didn’t stop with the presentation of the prizes, though. The band Carolina Breakers serenaded the crowd throughout the day.
Its rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama” got James Maynor and Rhonda Faircloth on the dance floor.
Faircloth said she’s been coming to the event since its first year.
“I actually used to work with the Boys and Girls Club in Lumberton,” she said. “I love seeing the kids watching the ducks come down, see who’s gonna win, people cheering and hoping their duck will be the winner.”
Maynor said this was his first time at the race, and that he came with Faircloth’s invitation.
“I love it,” he said. “My favorite part is getting involved and dancing with the Breakers.”