HARVARD -- It was raining yellow ducks on the Nashua River Saturday. But only one of the 5,000 quackers was worth dinner -- anywhere in the world.
The lucky duck that won belonged to Bill Marshall of Lowell, whose culinary aspirations are not quite set yet. Last year's winner chose dinner in Hong Kong, with the Rotary Club of Ayer, Harvard, Shirley and Devens paying for airfare and meal.
The rubber duck adopted by Marshall competed against nearly 5,000 ducks in this year's race. In addition to the grand prize, 30 other entrants won prizes.
"The Rotary Club wishes to congratulate our winners and thank everyone who entered the 2017 Ducky Wucky River Race," Rotary president Christopher T. Lilly said. "We also thank our many sponsors who support this great event. The real winners are the charitable causes that will benefit from the funds Rotary raises and spends on unmet needs in our community."
Proceeds from the race benefit the Rotary's many charitable causes, including local food pantries, high school scholarships, youth sports programs and international relief efforts.
During the race, the individually numbered rubber ducks travel about 150 yards downstream. The first duck to reach the finish line is declared the winner, and the next 30 ducks result in runner-up prizes. A boom spanning the river stops the ducks and they are scooped out of the water.
Every prize winner will be contacted by the Ayer Rotary Club.
1. Bill Marshall -- Dinner for two anywhere in the world
2. Andrea Christianson -- Lawn care program -- Turf Logic
3. Connie Wright -- Will Package -- Lorden, Pastor & Lilly
4. Sonny Bread -- Gift certificate -- One2One Bodyscapes
5. Mary Giacalone -- Fly Fishing Lesson -- Eino Kauppi
6. Bob & Cathy Przybylek -- $100 Gift certificate -- Reese's Travel Adventures
7. Scott Bulger -- Fruitlands Museum membership
8. Donna Liebman -- $50 Gift certificate -- LuLaRoe
9. Erin McBee -- $50 Gift certificate -- Bull Run
10. Jeff Cesaitis -- $50 Gift certificate -- Bull Run
11. Carrie Medley -- $50 Gift certificate -- Bull Run
12. Aaron Vansant -- $50 Gift certificate -- Evans on the Common
13. Calvin Moore -- $50 Gift certificate -- Evans on the Common
14. Eileen Froehlich -- $50 Gift certificate -- Cabela's
15. Kat Duren -- Gift certificate -- Oil chanage/tire rotation
16. Jill Laighton -- Gift certificate -- Oil chanage/tire rotation
17. Adrienne Kinchla -- Gift certificate -- Oil chanage/tire rotation
18. Connie Mackinnon -- Union Coffee Roaster Sample Pack/mugs
19. Danny McGee -- Union Coffee Roaster Sample Pack/mugs
20. Barbara J Jones -- Union Coffee Roaster Sample Pack/mugs
21. Paula Janes -- Creatively Rachel -- gift certificate wash/cut/blow dry
22. John Stournaras -- $35 Gift certificate -- Laggis Company
23. Chris Johnson -- Headquarters Hair Salon -- gift certificate shampoo/cut/blow dry
24. David Grich -- $25 Youtopia Day Spa gift certificate
25. James Hachowski -- $25 Youtopia Day Spa gift certificate
26. Alison & GeorgeTocci -- Village Beauty Shop gift certificate
27. Karen Randig -- $25 Jack O'Lantern Wine & Spirits gift certificate
28. Tom & Anne DiMarzio -- $25 Jack O'Lantern Wine & Spirits gift certificate
29. Mark Hillier -- $25 Toad Stool Book Shop gift certificate
30. Michael Halloran -- $25 Groton Market gift certificate
31. Brian Noble -- Lia Sophia Jewelry
This year's race sponsors, underwriting the grand prize, include: Gervais Ford, Main Street Bank, Nikopoulos Insurance, The Bull Run Restaurant, The Lexvest Group, Ayer Moving and Storage, Alexander Advisors, IC Federal Credit Union, Thomas E. Sears Insurance Agency, SpringHill Suites by Marriott and Deves Common Center, and Reese's Travel Adventures, the exclusive travel agent of the Ducky Wucky River Race.