The Great Duck Derby held

Published 9:27 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Approximately 2,000 small, yellow ducks “raced” down the Appomattox River on Friday, as part of the first “Live at Riverside” as the United Way of Prince Edward County’s much ballyhooed and once-delayed Great Duck Derby finally took place, according to a press release.

The winners have already been notified, with owner of the first place duck receiving $1,000; the second-place duck, $500; and the third-place duck, $250.

The first duck crossed the finish line in six minutes, the last in about 30 minutes,” the release cited.

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“They were fast movers,” said Lonnie Calhoun, vice president of the United Way’s all-volunteer board.

The ducks were released behind One Mill Street and a viewing party was held at The Virginia Wine Tasting Cellar.

There were a few glitches: the line of water noodles that ran across the river was too short, so some ducks ended up going around, and the water was so high the other ducks just slipped under – leading to some United Way board members wading into the river fully clothed to help catch the ducks. But it’s all being chalked up as a lesson for next year.

About 50 ducks “got past us,” said Board Member Sandy Cooke, who was in a skirt as she went in the water.

Noted Board Member Bruce Davis, who proposed the race, and also went in the water along with fellow board member Rhonda Arnold, “The noodle idea was good but the current was so strong it kept sucking them under … (Next time) we just have to know the water conditions.”

“The water was fast; it might have been too fast,” Davis said.

 The release cited, “This is the first year of the race, and The United Way is optimistic it will become their signature project.”

The United Way has surpassed its goal of raising $55,000 to distribute to its 20 local partners.

The United Way’s partners are: Farmville Area Community Emergency Services (FACES), Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity, Heart of Virginia Free Clinic, Farmville Service Unit Girl Scouts, Farmville Area Boy Scout Service Organization, Madeline’s House/Southside Center for Violence Prevention, Prince Edward County 4-H Clubs, Prince Edward/Farmville Youth Association (PEFYA), Scope/Meals on Wheels, Southside Virginia Family YMCA, Southside Pregnancy Center, Southside SPCA, Southside Training, Employment and Placement Services, Inc. (STEPS), Virginia Legal Aid Society, Camp Loud & Clear, Heartland Horse Heroes, Riding Star 4-H equestrian club, Jolly Glee Seniors, Piedmont Senior Resources, and the Virginia Children’s Book Festival.