It will look different than ever before, but the Comox Rotary Ducky 500 fundraiser will happen in 2020.
“We’ve been struggling with figuring out with a way we can do this, and we have come up with a plan,” said outgoing Comox club president Charlene Davis.
The first challenge was getting a licence. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the province, all existing gaming licences were effectively annulled by the government, and organizations were forced to re-apply, with a plan that would ensure compliance to the physical distancing rules and safety regulations surrounding COVID-19.
Davis said the committee worked hard to come up with a plan that met all the criteria.
To begin with, all sales will be done online only.
Also, considering the uncertainty of travel, the top two prizes, traditionally holiday prizes, will not happen. The other seven prize packs have been combined into three huge prizes.
“The prizes are spectacular,” said Davis.
Prize No. 1, valued at $2,000, is an “outdoor living” theme, consisting of 10-piece patio dining set, a Bradley smoker, a Paderno Classic non-stick cookwear set, and a wicker gel burner.
Prize No. 2 is ideal for the handy person in the family: a Briggs & Stratton 2,200 watt inverter generator, a 231-piece socket set, and a metal tool chest. The package is valued at $1,500.
Prize No. 3 is a Skyworth 4K 58” smart television, worth $500.
Deciding on the prizes this year was no challenge.
“We had already purchased these prizes, thinking that it was business as usual,” said Davis. “So they have been in storage for a while, waiting for the event.”
Tickets for the raffle are $20 apiece. There are 1,000 tickets available, and they can be purchased exclusively at ducky500.ca
The event itself will also look different in 2020 than ever before.
One of the club members has offered the services of his pool for the day.
“Keith Gibson is going to be dressed as a duck, and 1,000 ducks with the zip-ties around their necks with numbers on them, will be floating in his pool.. he will make a big splash into the pool and emerge with three winning ducks.”
The entire event will be live-streamed.
The event, which has been dubbed the Ducky Dip 2020, will take place Aug. 3.
The Ducky 500 raffle is not only a long-standing Comox Valley tradition, but also an event that benefits many people within the community. The contribution that Comox Rotary makes to the community has been even more evident and important this year than usual.
“We put a lot of money back into the community,” said Davis. “In fact, we have put probably, so far, $40,000 back into the community this year, because of the emergency circumstances surrounding COVID, and the desperation of some of the well-serving organizations that look after our weakest and most vulnerable population.”
All funds raised through the Ducky 500 stay in the Comox Valley, to serve the community.
While it’s going to look different, Davis is relieved to know it is happening. She said she knows the community will be happy to support it.
“This [will be] our 34th consecutive year,” she said. “Everybody looks forward to Ducky.”