Rotary Duck Race Provides $89,485 to Local Youth Charities

The Great Drake Park Duck Race is an ongoing annual fundraiser organized by all four Bend area Rotary clubs. Since 1989, the race has generated over one million dollars for Central Oregon charities, all supporting children and families in need.

The 2017 Duck Race was yet another great success. Sponsored by five community credit unions including MidOregon, Selco, OnPoint, Oregonians, and First Community, the Duck Race has become an important source of support for youth and family charities. Visitors, friends, businesses and the people of our Central Oregon community enjoyed this fun event and raised $89,485.

Each of the four Rotary clubs has begun distributing the funds to their selected recipients. The Rotary Club of Bend chose to support Bend’s Bethlehem Inn construction of a new kitchen, part of the Inn’s Transforming Lives Together Capital Campaign. The Bethlehem Inn is a community-supported emergency shelter that provides a warm, safe place to sleep, nourishing meals, and case management services for adults and children experiencing homelessness in Central Oregon.

The Rotary Club of Bend – Mount Bachelor is sending its Duck Race dollars to The Center Foundation. The Center Foundation supports sports medicine assistance, including head injury and concussion diagnosis, for youth in our local schools.

The Rotary Club of Bend-High Desert selected the Bethlehem Inn kitchen construction and Mountain Star Family Relief Nursery as Duck Race funds recipients. Mountain Star Family Relief Nursery’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect through community support and therapeutic services that help vulnerable children and families succeed.

The Rotary Club of Greater Bend is supporting DAWN’s (Directly Assisting Women Newly Sober) House, Grandma’s House and Community Shower Truck. DAWN’s House supports women recovering from addiction and alcoholism through structured, guided, sober transitional housing. Grandma’s house will use funds for a new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) in their home that provides mothers and babies emergency and transitional shelter to homeless or abused pregnant, parenting young mothers, and young mothers choosing adoption for their child. Community Shower Truck will purchase an additional shower truck, doubling their capacity to provide mobile showers to the homeless.

The local credit unions, working together, decided to donate their portion of the Duck Race proceeds to support six “Unity Challenge Days” in the middle schools and high schools of Central Oregon. Unity programs in schools help prevent bullying and teen suicide.

All Central Oregon Rotarians are proud to support these vital community resources and thank our title automobile sponsor Smolich Motors, and other community and supporting businesses for their generosity.