CRESTVIEW — The Foundation of the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce raced ducks on April 22 near the Crestview Public Library.
The race netted about $3,300 for vocational/technical scholarships. These scholarships will go to eligible Laurel Hill, Baker and Crestview High School graduates, who will receive as much as $1,000 over the next few months.
All 1,000 ducks were sold before the race, with many businesses in Crestview buying ducks for all of their employees as well as individuals chipping in to help vocational/technical education in our community. $1,550 in prize money was awarded to 10 people who bought duck numbers.
The top $500 prize winner was 710, belonging to Irma Rastater, the grandmother of foundation board member Mario Werth. Rastater said through her grandson, she will use the funds to visit Crestview family members from her home in Baden-Baden, Germany. Emerald Coast Aviation donated that prize. The second-place winner of $250, donated by the Paul Hsu Family Education Foundation, went to Megan Melendez of Casbah Coffee Co. She had duck 73.
Buyers of the eight next-fastest ducks included Nancy Bass of Merle Norman, duck 369; Laylee Jergensen from American Elite Molding, duck 322; Matthew Southard, duck 510; Edwin Gomez, duck 899; Angie Day from Day's Tire Pros, duck 454; Mary Inman, duck 659; Penny Eubanks, duck 402; and Courtne Hufstuler, duck 54.
There were eight additional $100 prizes funded by Hot Head Burritos; Friends of the Crestview Library; Bob and Peggy Hollingshead; Eglin Federal Credit Union; Publix; Cal Zethmayr for WAAZ; Dr. Richard Thomas, DDS; and Okaloosa Gas District.
Scout Troop 773 helped to construct the raceway next to the parking lot at the library. It took over 200 sandbags to build the retaining wall for the race track. About 20 other volunteers handled all the chores from hanging on the water hose to filling the race pond (thanks to Doug Sims and Richard Laux from Auburn Water Systems), to herding ducks, verifying the winners and doing a total clean-up of the area after the race.
The foundation credited the city of Crestview, particularly Mayor David Cadle and Public Works Director Wayne Steele, for allowing the use of the facility.