500+ ducks ready to race on Sea of Cortez!

When someone calls you up and says “I have 1500 (rubber) ducks with your name on ‘em, could you use them?” What would you do? How about a rubber ducky race for charity?!

Barb Olszewski, who along with her husband Mark are active members of the Puerto Peñasco community involved with the Rolling Rockies Wheelchair Basketball team, Adopt-a-Classroom project, and Esperanza para Nueva Vida community center in the area of San Rafael, received such a call a while back from long-time friend and writer for the Arizona Republic, Art Sloan.   Since then, she’s sent the duckies out to sea for Rubber Ducky Race fundraisers. The upcoming Ducky fundraiser is this Sunday, June 8th and duck #s are still available for sponsorship at $5 US a duck, or 3 for $10 US.  To sponsor a duck, find Barb O at the Mermaids Arts Market this Saturday in the lobby of Sonoran Spa 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Or contact her @ Mex: 383-4963   Cel:  044 638-114-2406   US:  602-324-9529 rockypoint@myway.com

During a recent pancake breakfast (yes, another of Barb O’s fundraising endeavors), we had the chance to get ducky and talk about the upcoming “race”.

RockyPoint360: What are plans for funds from this year’s duck race?

Barb O: It’s for an emergency transportation fund for disabled people to get to specialists in other cities in Mexico, and the other half is going to go for expense money for our kids that qualify for the Paralympics.  Francisco “Frank” Bercovich (of Rolling Rockies fame) is going to be the director of managing the money.


Photo: Tony Ballasteros 2013

RockyPoint360:  How many ducks have you sold?

Barb O:  About 500 out of 1500, which is actually pretty good. It’s about the same as last year.

RockyPoint360: Please explain to us how the duck race happens.

Barb O: The About Time boat is going to take us out in the water and off the beach a little ways out in front of Sonoran Sea and Spa. Then we have people on the boat with kayaks, they’re going to be our duck wranglers to make sure ducks don’t go out to sea but toward the shore on the incoming tide.

We’re going to leave with the ducks on the boat from port at about 10 a.m.

Photo: Joe Houchin

Photo: Joe Houchin

RockyPoint360: How long does it take the ducks to come in?

Barb O: About 30 minutes, they come in on an incoming tide and they all have numbers [for sponsorship purposes]. I pick the numbers randomly.

RockyPoint360:  How many duck races have you done?

Barb O: This will be my third duck race. The first one (a number of years ago) was for Adopt a Classroom, the second one (held last year) was to help with the electric bill at Esperanza para Nueva Vida community center in the area of San Rafael, and this one is for help with transportation for individuals with disabilities, as well as for children in the Paralympics.  The first year, which was for Adopt a Classroom, was probably my best one for duck sales which is a surprise.

RockyPoint360: How do you track the winner?

Barb O: Sandy Spain is doing a breakfast at Ramon’s (at Sonoran Sea) on Sunday, June 8th at 9:30, and all of the people from the breakfast go out and write down the winners, and cheer on the lucky ducks.  It’s a lot of fun. I would like to add, we are looking for new rubber duckies as our 1500 are getting ready to retire.



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