After consecutive years of thunderstorms and near-100 degree temperatures during the annual Duck Derby at Kokomo Beach, a night of clear skies and high-70s temperatures was a welcomed change Thursday.
The fundraiser for Samaritan Caregivers provided an evening of fun for all ages with games, free pizza courtesy of Papa John’s, free swimming and prizes for the lucky winners of the 15th annual Duck Derby.
Samaritan Caregivers Executive Director Jamey Henderson said it was a perfect night for the event, which has brought in $198,561 in the 14 years prior to Thursday’s race.
The money raised from the fundraiser goes toward recruiting volunteers who are matched up to provide free rides to seniors 65 and older who wish to stay in their homes as they age.
“Our event has had a lot of steamy, hot weather in recent years and we’ve had some stormy weather as well,” Henderson said. “This is a real first. It’s a little cooler, but people seem to be coming out and enjoying themselves.”
After kicking off the evening with a variety of games and free food for those in attendance, the main event began with Red Door Vardo Arts taking first place in the Papa Duck race — taking home a pizza party. Rounding out the top three were Primrose Retirement Community in second and Roller Wealth Management in third.
Jama Hensley then took home the biggest prize of the evening with her duck crossing the line first in the little duck race to receive the $1,000 prize. Rounding out the top five were Adonis Doster in second, Ashley Howell in third, Mike Imbler in fourth and Maggie Larrick in fifth.
Although the five ducks she purchased for the little duck derby didn’t place, Kokomo resident Janet Dallman said she was happy to be participating in the event for Samaritan Caregivers.