The Rotary Club of Comox recently held it’s 30th Annual Ducky 500 race fundraiser. Done annually in conjunction with the Comox Valley Canada Day celebrations, the Ducky 500 has been a very successful campaign for the club, raising 60K+ annually.

Ducky 500 tickets are $10 each, and each ticket coincides with a unique duck. Each year 6500 rubber ducks are re-ringed (given their unique number), floated down the river, and then re-captured by a squad of volunteers. The first 10 ducks to pass the finish line determine the winners. This year prizes ranged in value from $200 to $5000.

Tickets are sold online, at a local event earlier in the year, at local grocery stores starting approximately a month before the event and on Canada Day. All funds raised by selling tickets goes to charities in the Comox Valley.

Some of the plusses of this event are it’s family friendly focus, it’s excellent tie in with a national holiday, it’s tie in to the club’s identity as ’the water club’, and the capability to scale to meet demand and generate additional revenue without additional logistics beyond ticket sales.

Some of the challenges of this event include the number of hours required for ticket sales, the moisture of the ducks and storage needs, and managing the ducks on their way down the river.

The Rotary Club of Comox would be pleased to tell you more about this campaign if you believe that something similar might work in your community.