First Granby Grange Rubber Duck Race

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The rain stopped, the clouds tried to disperse, and folks kept coming to experience the first Granby Grange Rubber Duck Race at Salmon Brook Park on April 29. Co-chairs of the event, the fundraising brainchild of Granby Grange lecturer Judy Doyle, said the race was an awesome success both financially and in terms of spreading goodwill in the community. It is planned for an annual event.

“For this very first race to support Granby Grange, we limited the total number of rubber ducks available to sponsor to just 400,” said Granby Grange executive committee chair Dave Roberts. “We never thought that there would be so much interest in this first race, but we sold out of ducks days before the actual race day.”

“As a 97-year-old community organization, we chose for this first race to donate part of our proceeds to the Granby 4-H,” said co-chair Carol Innes. “We are so pleased to help our local youth in the 4-H who share common goals with the Grange.”

The event was hosted at Pavilion #2 at Salmon Brook Park and featured information on the Grange, a bake sale, popcorn and meals to go. At 3 p.m. sharp, Granby Grange president Ron Cowdrey appeared on the pedestrian bridge over Salmon Brook and—following the National Anthem and welcoming remarks— launched the rubber ducks into the rain-swollen brook. Some ducks moved quicker than the judges and the judges had to hurry to beat the first rubber ducks to the finish line, about 1,000 feet from the start of the race. Many volunteers and children got into the water to rescue the rubber ducks before they escaped down river.

Doyle said, “The Grange is a strong supporter of the environment and we wanted to make sure that we rescued every rubber duck launched. After much searching for the last seven ducks, we pulled all 400 ducks from Salmon Brook.”

Tim Sweeney, Stephen Gilkey, Dave Roberts, Judy Doyle, Colin Wright and Ron Cowdrey with 400 rubber ducks ready to launch into Salmon Brook. submitted photo

Following the race, more than 60 attendees went back to the Pavilion where the results were announced and prizes distributed by Cowdrey as follows:

First: Sharyon Holness won a Michael Kors designer purse

Second: Lynda Westbury won a Michael Kors wine case and bottle of wine

Third: Ron Cowdrey won a $100 VISA gift card

Fourth: Karrie VanRyn won an Elite Air Fryer

Fifth: Bill Ross won a $50 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card

Sixth: Casey Janser won a $50 movie gift card

Seventh: Dawn Kelly won a basket of perennials

Eighth: Kathy Morgan won one quart of maple syrup

Ninth: Barbara Healy won a gardening basket

Tenth: Colin Wright won a $15 Jersey Mike’s Subs gift card

Eleventh: Beth Jenkins won three jars of homemade jam

Twelfth: Colin Wright won one dozen local eggs

Last: David Desiderato won a toy Monster Truck

Granby Grange was last reorganized in 1926 and was on the verge of closing during the pandemic. Following a membership reinvigoration campaign, 31 new members have joined the Granby Grange and all officer and committee positions are filled for the first time in many years. For more information on Granby Grange, please contact membership committee chair Carol Innes at or 860-205-0162.