Most of the time on July 1, the Puntledge River is full of rubber ducks racing their way up to the 5th St. Bridge.
This year, there is still a pandemic, the bridge is being renovated, but the Rotary Club of Comox Ducky 500 continues to float on.
In light of COVID-19, the plans are different than usual for the Rotary Club of Comox Ducky 500. The fundraiser — rechristened the John Marinus Memorial Ducky 500 — won’t be a public event, and the winners will be picked online rather than by whoever’s duck gets to the finish line first.
“This raffle is in honour of John Marinus, who was a long-time member,” says Henrie Beaudoin, the club’s membership director. “He was amazing at fundraising.”
For 30-plus years, Marinus sold more tickets than anyone, and tickets are still available for the 2021 instalment, so to help spread the word, members of Marinus’s family were out at the 17th St. Bridge in Courtenay Saturday, including his wife Denise and his daughter Margaret McCormack, who was dressed up in a ducky costume.
“We’re trying to promote sales for our Ducky raffle,” Beaudoin says. “All the money that’s raised through this Ducky race goes straight back to the community.”
The event helps important causes in the community. Some of the groups the Ducky 500 supported last year were the Comox Valley Child Development Association, Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness Society, Comox Valley Marine Rescue and the Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Centre.
Prizes this year include electric bikes, cash, a staycation at Crown Isle and more. Single tickets are still $10, but there are also deals for buying in groups. You can get tickets online for the July 1 draw at www.ducky500.ca