Avid ticket seller gears up for VNA’s Rubber Ducky Race
If you go:
What: Rubber Ducky Race to benefit the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association
When: 11 a.m. Saturday, September 12
Where: Race starts on Fifth Street bridge, ends at West Lincoln Park
Tickets: $10, available at nwcovna.org/rubberducky
Steamboat Springs — If you’re a longtime supporter of the annual Rubber Ducky Race fundraiser, chances are you’ve bought a ticket from volunteer Mary Monger.
The avid ticket seller has been walking the streets and poking her head into local businesses for about 15 years now, selling tickets to the annual event, which culminates when thousands of small, rubber ducks are dropped off the Fifth Street bridge in a lighthearted race.
“She has many regulars that she goes to. People look forward to seeing her, and they would wonder if she didn’t come,” said Suzi Mariano, director of marketing and development for the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.
“I just want to sell the rubber duckies,” said Monger, who became involved in the fundraiser through her late mother, who was a volunteer with Yampa Valley Medical Center Auxiliary.
After 25 years as a YVMC fundraiser and a one-year hiatus in 2014, the VNA has taken over the event this year.
Participants can purchase a $10 ticket to sponsor one of thousands of ducks that will be tossed into the river Saturday for a race, with the top 25 ducky finishers taking home some of the donated $5,000 in cash prizes.
The money collected via ticket sales will go to support the VNA’s hospice and palliative care programs.
Monger had already sold about $1,000 worth of $10 tickets as of Friday morning, and said she had an all-time goal of nearly $5,000 in sales in one year.
“She’s our best seller,” Mariano said.
Monger said that more than any other part of the fundraiser, she enjoys the fun aspect of walking around town and hitting up her regular customers and encouraging, if not insisting, that they donate again.
“I like to push people,” said Monger, who also enjoys collecting ducks, and has an impressive display in her home of ducks from previous races and those of every theme and holiday.
“She’s got every duck you can imagine,” said VNA donor relations coordinator Mindy Marriott, who formerly worked for YVMC and helped run the race for many years.
“Mary and I go way back,” Marriott said. “It’s really the spirit of volunteering, what Mary does.”
After Saturday’s race, there will be a celebration with food vendors and children’s activities at West Lincoln Park.
Tickets for the fundraiser are still available by visiting nwcovna.org/rubberducky, at the VNA, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101, or at Yampa Valley Bank, 600 South Lincoln Ave.
Or just look for Monger in town — she hard to miss with her necklace of ducks and hand full of tickets.
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After several Steamboat Springs Transit drivers caught COVID-19 recently, the operation had to adjust its routes around New Year’s celebrations and The MusicFest at Steamboat, two of the city’s busiest weeks of the year.