Due to the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rotary Club of Aspen Board of Directors determined that it’s unable to hold the 29th Annual  Ducky Derby in 2020.  This heavily attended community festival in Rio Grande Park funded The Rotary Club of Aspen's ability to give back to the community through community grants, academic scholarships (Aspen and Basalt High School) and community service projects.  As part of our mission to recover from this unfortunate pandemic crisis, we are proudly starting a recovery campaign.  Our $30,000 target is far below the revenue Ducky Derby provides for our gifting goals, however, it is a humble start on our road to recovery.  
 
 
 
The Rotary Club of Aspen has made the difficult decision that it will be unable to conduct its annual Ducky Derby festival and duck race in the river this August, due to the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus COVID-19. The Club’s Board of Directors made the decision at a special meeting Wednesday, May 6.  This will be the first time in its 28-year history that the Ducky Derby will not take place. “It saddens me that we’ve had come to this conclusion,” says Rotary Club of Aspen President Shaun Hathaway.  “Rotary’s duck race has provided 28 years of continuous fun and fundraising for the community.”
 
Hathaway noted that without the Ducky Derby, the Board is committed to finding new creative ways this next year to continue to support the community.  "The Board and Rotary membership will pursue a new initiative to identify the local community’s most critical needs; we are committed and motivated to find other ways to support youth groups, non-profit organizations and service projects.”
Ducky Derby History
This fun event is the brainchild of Jack Brendlinger, Rotary President in 1992. He wanted to create a fund-raising and community-building opportunity that would create camaraderie within the Club, do good for local organizations and fulfill some worldwide needs.  On August 15 1992, thousands of rubber duckies were sent down to race the river for the first time. Now, 26 years later, while the ducks are still the racing stars, the event has grown to become a day-long festival.  It is a full day of live music, youth group booths offering games and activities, bouncy houses, a BBQ lunch, soft drinks and beer, merchandise sales and a silent auction. This yearly fundraiser has benefited 65 non-profit educational, health, human services and youth recreation organizations.
 
2019 Ducky Derby - First Place
The winners of the 2019 Ducky Derby are Mason Delman and his friend Griffin Strout.
 
 
From left to right, Pitkin County Commissioner Steve Child, winners Mason Delman and Griffin Strout, Rotarian Bennett Bramson (who sold them the winning Duck on the day of the event) and our 2019 Head Duck, Rotarian Norm Bacheldor!
 
Delman and Strout pooled their money to purchase two ducks on the day of the event! They won $15,000, and each will be using his share of the winnings ($7,500) for college expenses. Delman grew up in Deerfield, IL, and he is a senior at NY University. He is studying Lighting and Scenic Design.  Strout grew up in NYC and is a junior at Yale.  His curriculum is Music Director.  
2019 Ducky Derby - Top Ten Finishers

1st              $15,000   Mason Delman and Griffin Strout
2nd             $1,500     Lina Maldaikyte
3rd              $1,000     J. Hinduja
4th               $800       Gunter Schaldach
5th               $700       Donna Gerardi Riordan
6th               $600       Marilyn Levin
7th               $500       Kayla Fagre
8th               $400       Andrea Jones
9th               $300       Namdar Kazemri
10th             $200       Susan Sime

Last Place   $219       Susan Smith

The Ducky Derby