Racing rubber duckies
DAVE PIER, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, plucks the winning duck out of the water of Gundlach Bundschu's pond.
It may not have had the pizzazz of the upcoming Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway, but the inaugural Duck Derby at Gundlach Bundschu Winery on Sunday had plenty of charm. The event, a benefit for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, netted around $7,500 for the myriad of programs offered at the club.
A total of 1,950 ducks were "adopted" by hopeful supporters, many of whom came out to watch the race on Sunday. All of the ducks were placed in the pond, and volunteers from the Schell-Vista Fire Department lent a helping burst of fire-hose water to push the little yellow ducks towards the funnel-shaped finish lines. The first one to make it through the narrowed pathway was named the winner.
The first place duck was owned by Michelle Tipton, who won the $2,500 prize. The duck owned by Erin Riley and Dale Downing swam into second place, earning them an iPad2. Robin Fernandez' duck took third place, which came with a dinner for four at Estate. Claudia Mendoza and Kevin Carruth took the special prize for "last duck," which garnered them a vineyard excursion for four at Gundlach Bundschu.
Organizers gave out additional prizes to winners whose ducks were randomly selected out of the pond. Satchel Sevenau won four tickets to a Giants game; Alyson Douglas took home four tickets to a Warriors game and Karen Albertson left with a two-pack of Gundlach Bundschu wines.
Following the races, adult attendees sipped wines while youngsters enjoyed games and crafts.