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Rotary has Duck Race funds to give

It’s a problem many of us would like to have.

The Silverdale Rotary Club has money to give to community groups that are doing good work. Their problem is they have more funds to give away than applicants wanting funding.

“It’s a good problem to have,” said Cathy Bisaillon, chairman of the community service committee for the Silverdale Rotary.

So, Rotarians are trying to get the word out to Silverdale-area nonprofits to apply via the Rotary website. The group wants to give grants to any group that helps residents of Silverdale and Kitsap County.

“We give preference to groups close to home, here in Silverdale,” Bisaillon said. “But we will consider those doing work elsewhere in the county.”

The group has given out about a dozen grants so far this cycle. The grants are funded through the proceeds of the Silverdale Rotary Duck Race which is part of Silverdale’s annual Whaling Days community festival held each year in July.

Last year the race netted about $80,000 to be given out in awards. Awards can range in size from “a couple of hundred dollars to around $1,000,” Bisaillon said.

One recent award was $2,500 given to the Central Kitsap Food Bank. It will be used to buy a new walk-in freezer for the food bank’s new building that will open later in April.

“It will have a sign on it telling folks that it was donated by the Silverdale Rotary,” she said. “We like to fund capital improvements such as this, as opposed to everyday operating needs.”

Any nonprofit can apply, she said, and the forms are online at www.silverdalerotaryclub.org. There is an email option on the website for help in the application process.

“I would just encourage any group to apply,” she said. “We want to do all we can to help our community. We are so fortunate that people support the Duck Race to make all this possible.

The Duck Race includes thousands of plastic ducks being “sponsored” by groups and individuals who pay a fee per duck ($1 to $20 depending on the number of ducks sponsored.) The numbered ducks are then released and float across the water at Old Town Silverdale on the Sunday afternoon of Whaling Days. The sponsor of the duck that wins the race receives the grand prize which is usually cash or a new car.

The remaining money raised in the sponsorship of the ducks is then used by the Rotary for grants to nonprofits.

 

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