Rotary Rubber Duck Race plays it safe; winners announced

Chesterville Rotarian John Stewart and helper Abby van Kessel — one of two local youngsters enlisted to pull the winning ducks — pose with the three top finishers in this year's annual Rubber Duck Race. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

CHESTERVILLE — Safety considerations kept their flock off the South Nation River Saturday afternoon but Chesterville’s Rotarians went ahead with their annual fundraiser Peter van Kessel Memorial Rubber Duck Race nonetheless.

Due to concerns about swift water flows and windy conditions, children were instead enlisted to randomly pull the ducks from a pile at the Main Street pavilion.

“With that wind today, they would have been going up river,” explained Club secretary Betty Vanden Bosch.

“Next year, if the weather’s good, we’ve got ‘Mother Duck’ coming,” added Vanden Bosch, referring to a large inflatable duck dingy that will join the flotilla in 2020.

In 1st place at the 2019 edition was #694, Jamie Belanger; 2nd place was #209, Marc Maize; 3rd place was #462, Lorrie Munro.

The event raised $3,850 — with $1,000 of that already earmarked for a $1,000 contribution to equipment at Winchester District Memorial Hospital.

The race is named in honour of the late Peter van Kessel Sr., a former Rotarian who always sold the greatest number of tickets for the annual event.

 The winning ducks are randomly selected in the clip below.

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