The Grayson County Alliance will be able to provide more than 14,800 meals to local families in need thanks to the $5,700 raised from the 2020 Ducking Hunger Regatta.

This year’s event, held Monday, saw 709 rubber ducks “adopted” to raise money for the local non-profit. Those ducks “raced” to determine one grand prize winner and two runners-up.

Betsy Boone purchased the duck that came in first place, Duck #306, and walked away with the $1,000 prize.

Coming in second place was the Twin Lakes Professional Women’s Organization’s Duck #198, and the organization won a Leitchfield Aquatic Center family pass.

And coming in third place was Amy Butler’s Duck #1026. Butler also walked away with a Leitchfield Aquatic Center family pass.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of countless events, Grayson County Alliance officials were adamant that their annual fundraiser would go on.

“We were determined not to let COVID-19 cancel our biggest fundraiser and all the fun Ducking Hunger Regatta brings,” said Grayson County Alliance Executive Director Debbie Childress. “Everything is so stressful right now, hunger is a very serious issue, but the little ducks and Quacky are so cute they give us a fun way to talk about the needs.”

Childress said the Alliance lost all its venues to sell tickets for the event, so officials had to get creative with fundraising this year, particularly through online efforts.

“We had to find an online platform that could make it happen simply and affordably,” she said. “We expanded our social media presence and partnered with K105 to give away 20 tickets by playing ‘Where’s Quacky?’ We took photos with Quacky spotlighting various areas in Grayson County, and you had to guess the location. We also gave our mascot, Quacky, his own Instagram (@Quacky.gca) to try and connect with a different audience. We deeply appreciate everyone that sponsored the race, bought a ticket, shared a post, and played ‘Where’s Quacky?’ on K105.”

In addition to the 709 adopted ducks, this year’s Ducking Hunger Regatta also had 24 sponsors, and handed out awards for entries in the “Duckeration” contest.

The first place fan favorite decorated duck was submitted by LFR Trucking’s “Essential Duck.”

The second place fan favorite, “Ms. Quacky,” was decorated by the Grayson County Extension Office.

And the third place fan favorite, “Caramella Latte,” was decorated by The Storehouse Coffee & Gifts.

“For 20 years, GCA has been serving its friends and neighbors, and this emergency season has increased the burdens on our agency,” said Childress. “We have responded to the increased needs the best we can and are committed to continue to give a hand up to others. The funds raised through Ducking Hunger Regatta will provide basic food support to our community. Even though we have been very successful with our drive-thru at the food pantry, we look forward to upcoming months when we come back inside offering in-person services again.”

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