HARVARD -- Jo-Anne Poirier of Lunenburg picked the luckiest rubber duck of all -- in fact, it was a 1 in 5,000 shot.
Poirier was the grand prize winner of the 2018 Ducky Wucky River Race, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ayer, Harvard, Shirley and Devens. Her prize? A dinner for two -- anywhere in the world, including airfare.
Her winning duck, which she named Al, was one of five she adopted. On Saturday, it was dumped into the Nashua River in Harvard, where it became the first plucked from the water.
In addition to the grand prize, 25 other entrants won prizes that are listed at www.duckywucky.org.
The grand prize winner has one year to book her travel which can include the exotic locations selected by past winners, such as Indonesia, Japan, Australia and South Africa. All winners will be contacted by the Rotary Club to arrange delivery of their prizes.
"The Rotary Club congratulates JoAnn and all our prize winners, and we thank everyone who sponsored a duck in this year's race and contributed to Rotary's community service work," said Dolores Alberghini, the 2017-2018 president of the Rotary Club of Ayer, Harvard, Shirley and Devens. "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, ramps for housebound individuals, and international relief efforts.
This year's race sponsors, whose generosity underwrites the grand prize, include:
* Gervais Ford
* Main Street Bank
* Nikopoulos Insurance
* The Bull Run Restaurant
* The Lexvest Group
* Ayer Moving and Storage
* Alexander Advisors
* Thomas E. Sears Insurance Agency
* SpringHill Suites by Marriott and Devens Common Center
* Reese's Travel Adventures, the exclusive travel agent of the Ducky Wucky River Race.
The Ducky Wucky River Race was the finale on a day of fun, family events sponsored by the Rotary Club. Earlier in the day, the public enjoyed food, music and shopping at arts and craft vendors at the annual Apple Blossom Festival on Harvard Common.