A fowl ball… Adamstown fans cheer as duckies race to raise money for community days

By on May 13, 2015

 

Saturday, May 9, was a ducky day when it came to fundraising for the upcoming Adamstown Community Days.

The day marked the annual Adamstown FireQuacker 1000 rubber duck race and it was met by some 150 exuberant townsfolk gathering around noontime to cheer on hundreds of cute rubber duckies.

Photos by Michele Walter Fry Adamstown fire company members (left), and Jayne Wenger and duck husband, Robert Wenger (center) are on hand for the fun. At right is Sandy Roth assisting kids to try on fire coat and hat. The 75-foot Pierce Quint combination ladder truck and engine was acquired in the fall.

Photos by Michele Walter Fry
Adamstown fire company members (left), and Jayne Wenger and duck husband, Robert Wenger (center) are on hand for the fun. At right is Sandy Roth assisting kids to try on fire coat and hat. The 75-foot Pierce Quint combination ladder truck and engine was acquired in the fall.

There were purple ducks, pink, orange, blue, and yellow, which all started their journey behind the Premier Spouting building in Little Muddy Creek.

They “raced” in all different directions. Some ducks decided to swim backwards and many took breaks from the 400-yard dash up to the bridge at Willow Street.

Jeff Kopp herded the lame ducks, poking them with his stick to get them along. He had to save some from drowning and got others out of big messes.

Joe Dietrich, chairman of Adamstown Community Days had the job of collecting all of them at the finish, and this job required a lot of back bending.

Joe Dietrich, chairman of the community days committee, hard at work.

Joe Dietrich, chairman of the community days committee, hard at work.

The prize winner, Duckie No. 604, finished in 6:37. The race lasted about 15 minutes until the last duck crossed the finish line but there remains speculation that there may be an errant duckie or two still in the creek today.

Community days are held every Memorial Day weekend, Friday through Saturday.

For a smaller town, folks go all out for this event and the entertainment and fireworks are closer to state-fair level.

“Community days is expensive to put on and costs between $30,000 and $40,000, so we have numerous fundraisers throughout the year,” said Dietrich.

Smiles abounded as fans of all ages cheered on their rubber duckies.

Smiles abounded as fans of all ages cheered on their rubber duckies.

Jayne Wenger uses her state champion baking talent to help fundraise for the event when Adamstown Bingo raffles off her cakes. Her chocolate cake won first place in the state in 2012.

“You have to be first prize winner in a local fair and then you get to go and compete,” said Wenger, who specializes in chocolate and also angel-food cakes.

“I taught my husband (Robert Wenger, duck mascot) how to bake and he sometimes competes against me,” Wenger said. “I’ve won higher in the state than he has, but he has won in the state for angel food a couple of years.”

Her recipe is not a secret and can be found on the Pennsylvania Farm Show Web site under “winning recipes,” where it’s posted under “2012 Cocoa Classic Chocolate Cake Contest.”

“The frosting was a little different,” said Wenger. “It was a cooked frosting with cream and butter and more chocolate and it was really good.”

Wenger is a familiar face. She used to work at Weaver Markets but had to give up her job due to the onset of multiple sclerosis.

Ken and Wendy Kerschner bought six rubber ducks for the race. When anyone in Adamstown sees a bright orange sporty Subaru Crosstrek, they know it’s Wendy.

“We bought all orange ducks because I drive an orange car,” Wendy said.

One of their ducks won first place, winning them $200.

“We’ll ether save it or put it to our home beautification,” said Ken.

“Our mulch money!” Wendy said.

Real ducks observe their rubber counterparts with some skepticism during Saturday's race.

Real ducks observe their rubber counterparts with some skepticism during Saturday’s race.

Duck race winners were: $200 Wendy Kerschner; $100 Charles Lesher; $50 each Mackenzie Craley and Michael Butz; $25 each John Kurtz, Patricia Meckley, Seth Craley, Phyllis Ross, Nicolette Szymanski, Scarlet Good, Susan Taylor, and Jerry Harding.

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