The race began with a splash.
This year’s 2014 Great Pootatuck Duck Race on May 24 drew a bustling crowd. Parents and children filled the river’s banks in Sandy Hook Center, lining fences along the water near The Foundry, and across the rushing current, filled the lot behind Porco’s Karate Academy on Church Hill Road.
A record number of 3,863 tickets sold buys a lot of ducks, all of which hit the water as they spilled from a backhoe bucket tipped over the railing at 2:30 pm next to the Subway sandwich shop. Soon a swarm of bobbing ducks spread in a bright yellow swath across the river, sliding quickly toward the finish line. Each ticket number corresponded with one of the ducks headed, hopefully, for a win.
Winners this year were: 1st place, $2,000 check, Sal Costantino of Newtown; 2nd, Show & Go Gift Cards, Alicia Ligouri of Newtown; 3rd, an iPad mini with case, Dianna Pategas of Sandy Hook; 4th, a three-month membership to Porco Karate – Rose Easter of Newtown; 5th, a Treadwell Park family pass, Shelly Millo of Shelton;
6th, a Club NewFit three-month membership and one training session, Jeff Larson of Sandy Hook; 7th, a Club NewFit three-month membership and one training session, Cami Blackwell of Southbury; 8th, $100 gift certificate to Figs, Edna Ostendorf of Sandy Hook; 9th, a Sal & Pepe $100 gift certificate, Judy Sims of Newtown; 10th, a Carminuccio’s gift certificate for $100, Gabe Cidri of Danbury;
11th, a Salon Michelle gift certificate for $50, Molly Arneth of Sandy Hook; 12th, My Place gift certificate for $50, Erica Knapp of Sandy Hook; 13th, The Foundry gift certificate for $50, Honey Hilton of Newtown; 14th, a Tambascio’s gift certificate for $50, Jeff Larson of Sandy Hook; 15th, a gift certificate for $50 at The Villa, Ava Mitchell of Newtown;
16th, Nasser’s Hair Salon gift certificate of $42, Damien Sanchez of Danbury; 17th, a pair of Town Players tickets, Peter Shovak of Sandy Hook; 18th, a one-year subscription to The Newtown Bee, Roger Bjomberg of Woodbury; 19th, a Berkshire Motors gift certificate of $39.95, Ann Pixley of Newtown; and 20th, ten movie tickets to the theater at Edmond Town Hall, Robin Brindley of Sandy Hook.
The duck race was the final event in a day that started at 10 am, and included a morning and afternoon of children’s and family activities, vendors, food, and fun in the Lions Club’s largest annual fundraising event. With a twist this year from a day that had been recently contained mainly in the park area at 3 Glen Road, the Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP), made a cooperative effort with the Newtown Lions to bring to residents the Great Pootatuck Duck Race & Town Festival.
Entertainment and activities spread from the park at Glen Road, around the bend in Sandy Hook Center, and up Church Hill Road. Vendors, businesses, and organizations had their wares on display, music played, and children kept an eye on the time, waiting for 2:30 when ducks would fall.
The day served both the Lions Club and businesses involve with the SHOP organization, gaining exposure for the downtown merchants. Other events, such as a FAITH Food Pantry collection, and a touch-a-truck event with some of Newtown’s emergency vehicles, also took place.