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Getting your ducks in a row
Quack for a Cause supports United Way
UW duck team1
Members of the United Way of Central Kansas and Larned State Hospital pose after the Quack for a Cause Duck Race held Saturday. Front row, Tama Hanson, Alex Lessard and Charell Owings and The Duck (Angela Wilhite); back row, Kevyn Soupiset, Laura Smith, Julie Smith, Haleigh Bennett and Tammie Caley. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

LARNED — Ducks were racing rain or shine on Saturday for the “Quack for a Cause” Duck Race sponsored by United Way of Central Kansas and the Larned State Hospital.
Nearly 1,000 ducks were bought for $10 apiece or $50 for six ducks as a fund-raiser that benefits United Way of Central Kansas and its agencies.
“This type of event helps fund our United Way campaign. We love giving that money back and this event increases our giving ability,” said Julie Smith, United Way of Central Kansas director. “Our partnership with Larned State Hospital gets stronger every year. United Way and our agencies were represented in the Santa Fe Trail Days Parade. Anytime, you make your presence known in the community, it makes people more aware of what we’re doing.”
Smith said United Way of Central Kansas has contributed to various local projects. They’ve helped Camp Pawnee, playground equipment; Parents as Teachers, hearing aid machine; Welcome Inn, new tables; Caring Hands Daycare, support; Boy Scout Museum; Jordaan Library, Dolly Parton Imagination Library; Food Pantry, Orphan Grain Train, Helping Hands, 501 Main Street.
United Way of Central Kansas was a nominee for Small Business at the annual Larned Chamber of Commerce banquet.
Members of Pawnee and surrounding counties gathered around the Larned Aquatic Speedway located at the Pawnee County Courthouse after the Santa Fe Trail Days Parade to watch close to 1,000 plastic ducks raced for a chance to win the grand prize of $2,000.
Ty Racette of Larned had the first place duck and since he was present at the race, his winnings doubled to $2,000 – what a lucky duck!
The second place winner was Krysten Watkins, who doubled her prize to $1,000 as her duck came in second.
Mary Kohler received $250 for her third place duck.
“The proceeds made by this event will stay local, as it will benefit the 19 agencies supported by the United Way of Central Kansas,” Smith said. “It was great to see the crowds gathered for the event.”
The fourth through tenth place duck race winners each took home $100 and the “Hard Luck Duck,” won by Brooks Hanson, received a Scentsy Package. The fourth through tenth place duck winners were Gaila Nielsen, Kathy Hafner, Mary Thurman, Keri Applequist, Jill Boultinghouse, B,J. Devine, and Will and Don Adams.
“A huge thank you goes out to our sponsors and everyone helped make this event a success,” Smith said.
Smith said Lucky Duck sponsors included Comfort Pro Inc.; Country Living of Larned; First State Bank and Trust Company; Eagle Communications; Pawnee Valley Community Hospital; and Ward Feed Yard.
The Animal Quacker sponsors included AFLAC, Leigh Anne Stelter; B&B Quality Meats; Beckwith Mortuary; Broadway Chill N Grill; Doerr’s Ace Hardware; Farmers Bank and Trust; Kale Erway, State Farm Insurance; Racette Insurance; OPI in Larned; Matt Koch. Edward Jones Financial Services; and Sweets ’N Eats.