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Ducks dash despite drizzle, raise thousands for Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier
$5 player wins Rubber Duck Derby grand prize of $10,000
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Winston Tennant pours queso over a taco at the Dos Tierras restaurant tent at the Rubber Duck Derby on Friday.

Duck Derby winners

  • Rich Godbee, $10,000 grand prize
  • Pamela Andris, 1st Prize, one-carat diamond donated by Gainesville Jewelry
  • Matt Nix, 2nd prize, Lanier Island Resort Getaway
  • Jacqueline Robinson, 3rd prize, Kipper Tool prize pack
  • John Burgess, 4th prize, Walt Disney World Resort (4) hopper passes
  • Mark Sosebee, 5th prize, Yeti cooler donated by Hargrove Engineers & Constructors
  • Kirsten Conaway, 6th prize, four Adventure Tour passes and a one-night TeePee stay at North Georgia Canopy Tours

Rich Godbee of Lawrenceville was somewhat incredulous when he got a call from the chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier telling him he was the $10,000 grand prize winner of the Rubber Duck Derby.

Steven Mickens called to congratulate Godbee after the Duck Derby race finished late Friday afternoon. Godbee could hardly believe the news.

“Your duck was the first to hit the wall,” Mickens told the winner, whose only comment was that he’ll believe it when the money’s in his hands.

Godbee got in the derby by adopting a single duck for $5.

“You never see that happen,” said past Board President Greg Katulka. “Winners usually buy many ducks.”

Organizers jammed a total of 20,000 ducks into Lake Lanier. The rubber ducks float one-tenth of a mile to the finish line.

The Rubber Duck Derby is one of two big fundraising events put on by the Boys & Girls Clubs. Along with the Future 4 Kids Gala, the two events generate more than $464,000 for the Clubs.

Most of the organization’s funding comes from government grants, according to federal filings in 2015 by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier — the most recent financial information available online.

The Clubs received more than $1.9 million in grants, or almost 50 percent of its total assets of $3.8 million reported in 2015.

The derby brought in gross revenues of $163,972, according to the organization’s 2015 filing.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Lanier may have to depend more heavily on fundraising events and public donations because government grants could soon disappear.

President Trump rolled out a budget proposal in March that would eliminate $1.2 billion for afterschool and summer programs as part of the Administration’s plans to slash $9 billion from the Department of Education.

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