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Hundreds of people gathered at Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill on Sunday, May 22, to watch our club drop around 3000 rubber ducks into the Intracoastal waters from the Palm Valley bridge. With the help of National Honor Society (NHS) students at Creekside, Nease and Ponte Vedra high schools – as well as several corporate sponsors – this annual Rubber Duck Race raised about $20,000 for our club’s foundation and event partner, Learn to Read of St. Johns County.

“We could not do this event without the help of those students and our corporate sponsors,” says Rubber Duck Race Chairperson and Rotarían, Gary Smith. “Lazzara Orthodontics and Sid Ansbacher were our lead sponsors and the faculty supervisors of the NHS programs at the high schools were incredibly helpful. As Rotarians, we value the phrase ‘Service Above Self’ and these folks demonstrated that every step of the way.”

“Our volunteer-based organization provides free literacy skills assessment and instruction in St. Johns and Putnam Counties to individuals 16 years of age and older,” says LTR’s Executive Director, Joseph Cinney. “Without the Rubber Duck Race, our services would be significantly impacted. We are so grateful to the Ponte Vedra community for its help in keeping this Rubber Duck Race afloat!”

Shortly before the ducks were dropped in the water, several dignitaries addressed the crowd about the significance of the event. Those speakers included Luis (Luiggi) Estrella (current LTR student), Angela Moreno (former LTR student & current LTR employee), MaryBeth Murray (President of Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra), Kelly Barrera (School Board Member of St. John’s County School District) and Jeremiah Blocker (St. John’s County Commissioner).

Those who adopted the top finishing ducks in the Race won an array of donated prizes ranging from 2 free airline tickets from Southwest Airlines to a $100 gift card at TPC Sawgrass.

Watch, like and share our 2-minute event recap video here!