image


Supporting Estes Park Charities for 31 years and counting!
 
The Estes Park Duck Race continues a tradition started in 1989 to support the local charities of the Estes Valley. In 1989, Estes Park didn't have a United Way or any other organized way to collect and distribute funds to needy organizations in town. Then, one day, four businessmen in town, Stan Pratt, Nick Kane, Mike McDonald, and Steve Nagl were having coffee and were discussing that very issue. They were also brainstorming on ideas for extending the "shoulder season" in Estes so that the merchants could have a better business season.

Stan mentioned that he had seen a neat duck race up in Oregon and it seemed like it was a lot of fun and a good way to bring the tourists to town for a festival. Not only that, it seemed like a good way to raise money for the charitable organizations in town. Looked like a natural winner.

Mike said. "Well, we've got a river that runs right through the main part of town." Nick chimed in with, "We could start the race at my restaurant."
 
And Steve added, "The finish line could be at my place."

And, that's how the Duck Race started. From that small beginning, the Estes Park Duck Race has grown to be one of the top 5 Duck Races in Colorado and now enjoys enormous popularity with 5,000 - 7,000 ducks being adopted and well over 500 Prizes for the lucky winners.
Image
Here you can download the application form for organizations to sign up for the duck race as well as learn a bit of info. To get the whole quack please visit our Duck Race website or click on the Adopt Now button to get started.
 
 
Organizations launch Duck Adoption Sales campaigns 
 
March 2, 2019
 
The sales campaign for Duck Adoptions for the 2019 Estes Park Duck Race Festival is officially underway. Following a Feb. 28 meeting of representatives of 67 participating organizations, sales began March 1 in person and online at https://www.epduckrace.org
 
Sharing of sales tips, adoptions forms and encouragement headlined the Feb. 28 meeting, presided over by Organizations Chairman Larry Williams and Big Duck ’19 Kathy Groesbeck. The session also featured Lee Lasson’s instructions on online sales and the use of a ticket sales interface for Race Day sales and Cassie Lasson’s explanation of Duck Central guidelines. Lucky made an appearance to remind the participating organizations that the big yellow duck mascot is available for club and event appearances.
 
The cost to adopt a duck remains $20. Online adoptions will incur a $2 handling fee per adoption. This year’s target is to raise $135,000 for the 67 participating organizations.
Organizations will begin turning in completed adoption forms at Duck Central (race headquarters) on Friday, March 29. The complete schedule of Duck Central hours can be found on: https://www.epduckrace.org/contact/.
 
The Estes Park Duck Race Festival begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 4, with activities continuing until 4:30 p.m. The full schedule is available at https://www.epduckrace.org/schedule/
 
 
Theme, prizes unveiled for 2019 Estes Park Duck Race
 
February 25, 2019
 
The Fall River may be crusted with ice, but the 2019 Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival is right around the bend. The Duck Race Festival Committee has just unveiled this year’s race theme and major prizes. The list of participating organizations that will benefit is complete, the roster of major and associate sponsors finalized.
 
The 2019 event on Saturday, May 4, will capture the adventure of life in the Rockies and features mascot Lucky Duck decked out in hiking gear. The Festival will offer expanded activities at Nicky’s Steakhouse and George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza, and a Duck Waddle 5K sponsored by the Estes Park Running Club. The Estes Park Rotary’s Friendship Card, a fundraising and discount program, will be offered for sale for the first time on Race Day. (contact epfriendshipcard@gmail.comfor more information.)  Interactive games for the kids, live music, merchandise sales, the Friendship Card, and thousands of plastic ducks floating toward the finish line will combine to make the Festival fun for all ages, said 2019 ‘Big Duck’ Kathy Groesbeck.
“This is The Rotary Club of Estes Park’s largest fundraising and ‘fun-raising' event, a not-to-be missed Saturday in the mountains,” Groesbeck said. 
 
The 2019 event will feature a major cash prize and three getaway packages with accommodations donated by Delaware North Parks and Resorts and trip expenses donated by the Estes Park Duck Race.
 
  • Grand Prize $5,000 cash.
  • Three-night stay for two at The Pine Lodge, Whitefish, Montana, located on the doorstep of majestic Glacier National Park. The resort offers comfortable year-round accommodations for guests traveling through Whitefish, Montana. This facility is situated alongside the Whitefish River, with many rooms boasting views of the surrounding mountain tops. Glacier National Park is a mere 25 miles away, offering an abundance of recreational opportunities. The package includes access to all amenities: continental breakfast, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, bicycles; a guided trip to Glacier National Park; and a round of golf.
  • Three-night stay for two at Tenaya Lodge, Fish Camp, California, a stunning mountain resort set two miles from Yosemite National Park and surrounded by noble evergreen forest. Tenaya Lodge is an all-season resort featuring lodge rooms and cottage rooms, a rich range of recreational activities, a 10,000 square-foot luxury spa, indoor and outdoor pools and five dining venues located on the property. The package includes an all-day tour of Yosemite for two.
  • Three-night stay for two in Old Faithful Cabin, West Yellowstone, Montana. Clustered in five camp settings, this 50-cabin property provides a sense of community without compromising privacy. The Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone combine the charm of cabin lodging with the joys of generational travel and dog-friendly travel. Open year-round, the Old Faithful Cabin is minutes from the Park's West Entrance and a short drive from Old Faithful. The package includes: all-day guided interpretive snow coach tour to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone or Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park; park entrance fees an box lunches; dinner for two at the Branch Restaurant; tickets to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center and IMAX Theater in West Yellowstone.
"Everyone loves to take a vacation, and we want to help with some great choices this year," Groesbeck said. "The trip prizes will certainly add to the excitement for our fans."
The reason for the race? To help 67 Estes Valley groups and charities. The complete list of beneficiaries will be available on epduckrace.orgbeginning March 1, the day sales begin. 
 
“I am very excited about the number and quality of the organizations we will be supporting this year,” said Larry Williams, Duck Race Festival Committee member who coordinated selection of beneficiaries. “We are welcoming some new charities and look forward to their participation.”  
The generosity of major and associate sponsors makes the race possible, said Bill Solms, who led the sponsorship effort. A major sponsor contributes $500 or more in cash or services to support race prizes. An associate sponsor kicks in $100 in cash or services. The company logos of major sponsors and names of associate sponsors appear on Duck Race posters and website. In addition, major sponsors are listed on adoption forms. Posters and adoption forms will soon appear, both designed by local artist Tim Buck. 
 
The goal for 2019 is to raise $135,000 or more in duck adoptions that will benefit the participating organizations that are selling them, Groesbeck said. For each $20 adoption form sold, $19 goes to the beneficiaries. In the past 30 years, the Estes Park Duck Race has returned more than $2.6 million to the Estes Valley.
 
All are welcome as volunteers!
Help the 2019 Estes Park Duck Race Festival
 
February 18, 2019
 
Everyone knows the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival is the place to be on the first Saturday in May. But, did you know that you do not have to be a Rotarian to help?
 
“We welcome volunteers from high school age on up to 105 who can give a few hours on Saturday, May 4. No special skills are required except a positive attitude. And be prepared to be surprised at how much fun you will have!” said Kathy Groesbeck, Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival Big Duck 2019.
 
The Duck Race Committee is looking for volunteers to help with: 
  • Setting up and taking down equipment at the start and finish lines – contact Thor Homme,thorhomme@yahoo.comor Jim Austin, jimdaustin@cs.com.
  • Selling duck-themed race merchandise at Nicky’s Steakhouse and George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza – contact Brad Rosenbaum, brad@designestes.com
  • Supporting operations at Riverside Plaza with participating organizations selling duck adoptions and providing engagement activities for race-goers - contact Larry Williams, lwilli5442@yahoo.com
  • Helping to display sponsor ducks- contact Bill Solms, wosolms@gmail.com
  • Ensuring safety along the riverbanks – contact Gene Oja, info@eeojadds.com
  • Keeping the ducks from getting snagged in the river - contact Gene Oja, info@eeojadds.com
“The Rotary Duck Race Festival is an iconic event that is popular with the public and supports so much goodwill that happens in our community,” said Groesbeck. “We encourage everyone interested in making new friends, helping some great causes, and spending a day having fun in our charming town to volunteer at the Rotary Duck Race Festival. A fun day with a satisfying feeling of knowing you helped to make a difference afterward is guaranteed!" 
 

Duck Race charities to meet Feb. 28

 
February 8, 2018
 
Sixty-seven organizations have been invited to pick up packets of Duck Race adoption forms Thursday, Feb. 28 and receive instructions on sales. These clubs and nonprofits have been chosen as participating organizations for the 2019 Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival. 
Distribution Night begins at 6 p.m. at The Ridgeline Hotel, 101 South St. Vrain Ave. The Duck Race Festival Committee encourages each of the 67 organizations to send a representative to the meeting.
 
“The excitement is building for the 2019 event, and our race committee is ready to support sales, both online and in-person. We want to help our organizations increase their adoption sales so they can see great results,” said Larry Williams, Duck Race Committee member in charge of organizations.
 
Beginning Friday, March 1 groups will begin distributing paper adoption forms and encouraging their members and friends to adopt ducks. The Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival website and Facebook page will launch online sales March 1 in tandem with paper sales.
 
The annual Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, with the Estes Park Running Club’s Duck Waddle 5K, a family fun run and race. Duck Race Festival participating organizations will welcome duck fans to George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza at 10 a.m., where they will offer interactive activities and sell duck adoptions until noon. Live music there, as well as at Nicky’ Steakhouse, will add a lively flair to the festival activities scheduled in the morning hours until the official duck drop at 1 p.m. at Nicky’s.  Thousands of little yellow ducks will enter the Fall River and float about 2 miles to Riverside Plaza downtown. There, they will be fished out of the river by volunteers and cheered by the finish line crowd. Each adopted duck is assigned a number, and hundreds of prizes will be awarded.
 
This year’s major prize will be $5,000 in cash. In addition, major sponsor Delaware North Parks & Resorts, Inc. will provide three travel prizes that include stays and activities at their properties around the country, including The Pine Lodge at Glacier National Park, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park, and Old Faithful Cabin at Yellowstone National Park. Delaware North is the parent company of The Ridgeline Hotel. The Rotary Club of Estes Park will add a $1,000 travel voucher to each trip winner.
 
            For every duck adopted with a paper form for $20, the charity checked off on the adoption form will receive $19.  The other $1 is retained by the Rotary Club of Estes Park to offset operational costs of the next year’s Duck Race Festival. Adoptions may also be charged to a credit card online at www.epduckrace.orgwith a nominal processing fee.
 
            “The primary purpose of the Rotary Duck Race Festival is to set the stage for people in our community to have an opportunity to support the participating organizations who provide vital services to those who live in the Estes Valley, said 2019 ‘Big Duck’ Kathy Groesbeck. “These 67 participating organizations help achieve their own missions by selling duck adoptions and receive a considerable benefit back to their group that is commensurate to their efforts. The rules of the Duck Race are simple: Adopt a duck. Maybe win an awesome prize? Help a cause that you care about."
 
The 2018 race brought the total funds raised in the 30-year history of the event to $2.6 million. Social media will spread the word internationally. To help this effort, the Duck Race Festival has a Facebook presence to propel adoptions at https://www.facebook.com/EPDuckRace
 
 
Duck Race 2019 Seeks Participating Organizations
 
November 3, 2018
 
Calling all Estes Valley nonprofit charities or organizations that would like to share the proceeds of the 2019 Rotary Duck Race Festival! Now’s the time to step up, ask your members if they will sell Duck Adoption Forms, and submit paperwork for consideration by the Rotary Duck Race Festival organizations committee. 
 
Letters have been sent to past and potential participating organizations, according to Kathy Groesbeck, chairman of the 31st Rotary Duck Race Festival. Groups that have not received letters are encouraged to submit an application for consideration. Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 is the deadline for organizations to respond.
 
“We invite nonprofit charities and organizations to complete the application soon, so we can develop our list and print our Adoption Forms,” Groesbeck said. “The Rotary Duck Race Festival Committee is planning an exciting event to continue its legendary success over the past three decades. We look forward to selecting a wide-ranging group of local non-profit organizations to participate so they can benefit from their experience to raise funds to accomplish their mission in our community.” 
 
Once nonprofit charities and organizations have been selected as participating organizations, they can launch their Duck Adoption sales campaigns. Sales will be conducted through the Rotary Duck Race Festival website, Facebook page and the traditional paper Adoption Form. The Rotary Duck Race Festival committee encourages participating organizations to use their websites, social media and email to extend their sales reach beyond the local community. In 2018, participating organizations sold 6,699 Duck Adoption forms.
 
The Duck Race Festival will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Exciting major cash and travel prizes are planned, in addition to hundreds of popular merchant-donated certificates.  The 2018 event returned $127, 281 to 68 area organizations and groups. Beneficiaries receive $19 from every $20 paper Duck Adoption Form sold.
 
Organizations will be selected for the 2019 Duck Race Festival based on the following criteria:
 
  1. Previous adherence to expectations of being involved in the Duck Race.
  2. Local presence and benefit to the local community.Organizations and associations may either hold a valid 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 tax status with the US Internal Revenue Service or are deemed to benefit the local community. 
  3. Willingness to sell a minimum of $400 in Duck Adoptions.
  4. Consider participation in a George Hix Riverside Plaza activity on May 4, 2019 by staffing a booth, sharing information about the organization, selling Duck Adoptions, and offering an interactive activity for festival guests. 
 “We hope to hear from new organizations as well as those that have been helped by the race in the past 30 years,” said Larry Williams, Rotary Duck Race Festival organizations committee chairman. “The Duck Race Festival is a great community event, and being part of it can be fun and profitable for our participating organizations. Working together, we can make 2019 a record year for our non-profit charities and organizations!”
 
For additional information or to receive an application form, contact Williams, by email at lwilli5442@yahoo.com, U.S. Mail at P.O. Box 1226, Estes Park, CO 80517, or phone at (970) 586-3295.
 
2018 Race Press Releases
 
Duck Race Festival charities to meet March 1
New place, time for this year’s pre-sales gathering
 
January 31, 2018
 
Sixty-nine organizations have been invited to pick up packets of Duck Race adoption forms Thursday, March 1 and receive instructions on sales. These organizations have been chosen as beneficiaries of the 2018 Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival.
 
Distribution Night begins at 6 p.m. at The Ridgeline Hotel, 101 South St. Vrain Ave. The Duck Race Festival Committee encourages each of the 69 organizations to send a representative to the meeting and to note the new start time and new location.
 
“I look forward to working with the charitable organizations to maximize their adoption sales and have a successful race,” said Larry Williams, Duck Race Committee member in charge of beneficiary organizations.
 
Beginning Friday, March 2 groups will begin distributing paper adoption forms and encouraging their members and friends to adopt ducks. The Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival website and Facebook page will launch online sales on March 2 in tandem with paper sales.
 
The annual Estes Park Duck Race Festival will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, with the Estes Park Running Club’s 5K Duck Waddle, a family fun run and race. At 10 a.m. Duck Race Festival charities will welcome duck fans to Bond Park for interactive activities, music and duck adoption sales. Action will move to the starting line at Nicky’s Resort on Highway 34 around 11:30 a.m. Thousands of little yellow ducks will drop into Fall River and float about 2 miles to Riverside Plaza downtown. There, they will be fished out of the river by volunteers and cheered by the crowd at the finish line. Each adopted duck is assigned a number, and hundreds of prizes will be awarded.
 
This year’s all-inclusive travel prizes, funded by many generous corporate sponsors, will transport winners to exciting destinations, including Costa Rica, Mexico, Seattle, San Diego, Santa Fe and Las Vegas. New this year, major sponsor Delaware North, Companies, Inc. will provide four additional travel prizes that include stays and activities at their properties around the country, including The Pine Lodge at Glacier National Park, the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park, and Yellowstone National Park in winter. Delaware North is the parent company of The Ridgeline Hotel in Estes Park.
 
            For every duck adopted with a paper form for $20, the charity checked off on the adoption form will receive $19.  The other $1 is retained by the Rotary Club of Estes Park to offset operational costs of the next year’s Duck Race Festival. Adoptions charged to a credit card online at www.epduckrace.org will cost $22.
 
            “The Noon Rotary Club sponsors the race as a way to support Estes Valley charities. While our Rotary Foundation is one of the 69 beneficiaries, our goal is to let the ducks swim for the community’s benefit.” 2018 ‘Big Duck’ Brad Rosenbaum said.
 
The 2017 race brought the total funds raised in the 29-year history of the event to $2.5 million. Social media will spread the word internationally. To help this effort, the Duck Race Festival has a Facebook presence to propel adoptions at https://www.facebook.com/EPDuckRace
 
 
All are welcome as volunteers!
Help the 2018 Estes Park Duck Race Festival
 
February 18, 2018
 
Everyone knows the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival is the place to be on the first Saturday in May. But, did you know that you do not have to be a Rotarian to help?
 
“We welcome volunteers from high school age on up to 105 who can give a few hours on Saturday, May 5. No special skills are required except a positive attitude,” said Scott Thompson, Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival volunteer coordinator.
 
Thompson is looking for volunteers to help with:
  • Setting up and taking down equipment at the start and finish lines
  • Selling duck-themed race memorabilia at Bond Park and Riverside Plaza
  • Supporting operations in Bond Park for charities and organizations
  • Helping to display sponsor ducks
  • Ensuring safety along the riverbanks
  • Keeping the ducks from getting snagged in the river.
“Our 70-member club cannot put on this event without a host of volunteers. It’s a great way to help a great cause, to make new friends, and be part of one of the largest events in Estes Park,” Thompson added.
To sign up as a volunteer, contact Thompson at scott@estesparkrealestate.com or call him at 970-590-9941.