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Summary: Big duck race, street flea market, blood drive…

The bad weather could not spoil the Great Duck Race yesterday.

The Sunrise Rotary Club’s annual fundraiser, as usual, attracted a large crowd of bettors, children and anyone else looking for a family-friendly, unusual way to have fun.

Over 3,000 tiny plastic ducks were dropped from a giant front-end loader and then raced down a 160-foot-long lock built by Rotary members with help from the Westport Fire Department.

Here are some impressions from the race:

Before the start. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

The crowd is waiting. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

And off we go! (Photo/Mark Mathias)

The field is very crowded. (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker reports live and in real time. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

The winner approaches the finish line. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

The big winner ($5,000) was Will Augustyn.

George Masumian’s duck came in second place and earned him $1,000.

Eight other winners received $500 each: Stephen Pianka, Jim Marpe, David Moore, Michael Paul, Steven Benardete, Jason Rich, Aimee Monroy Smith and Judith McBride.

It was all for a good cause.

Sunrise Rotary will donate 100% of all proceeds to local and international charities. Officials estimate that $70,000 has been raised.

Congratulations to all Rotarians on a great day of fun and good work.

Congratulations also to the winners. You trained your ducks well.

In the meantime, there was a lot more to do before the actual race, such as a Nerdy Derby, pin making, bubble machines and more, plus sponsor tents and food trucks.

Here are a few scenes:

The Cub Scout Pack 39 sponsored a “Rainbow Regatta.” (Photo/James Delorey)

The activities for the children were super fun. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

In just a few months, Alina’s Cakes & Cookies has become an important part of the community. Owner Alina Dancho created a great atmosphere with duck-themed delicacies.

Ducks know that the earth is almost 75% water. The Great Duck Race took place at Jesup Green and on June Day guests from all over the world came to town. Many stayed for the fun at the Sunrise Rotary. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Of course, the Westport Downtown Association’s street sale was part of yesterday’s fun.

It continues today on Main Street and the surrounding area (including Sconset and Playhouse Squares).

There may be rain this afternoon, so come early!

Rhone – and many other traders in the city centre – invite you to their street sales.


VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399/August Matthias American Legion Post 63 just reached a milestone: 4 consecutive years of monthly Red Cross blood drives. Over 2,220 donors participated.

On Friday, more than 80 donors came to the event sponsored by the Goddard Schools in Westport.

VFW Quartermaster Phil Delgado says, “Thanks to sustained partnerships with other nonprofits in the community, we have become the leading Red Cross blood donation site in Fairfield County.

“Remember: one blood donation can save three lives.”

The next blood drive is July 31st (12pm-6pm). Click here to schedule an appointment (use this sponsor code: VFWWESTPORT) or call 800-733-2767.

Monthly blood donation campaigns for four years in a row.


On Friday, Lynn Bishop looked out her dining room window near Clinton Avenue – and saw this young bear strolling toward her children’s slide.

She could “barely” hide her surprise and took this “Westport … Naturally” photo:

Other “06880” readers reported seeing it nearby at Willowbrook Cemetery, strolling along Main Street there.

Yesterday it was seen on Easton Road and then on Northside Lane, off North Avenue.


And finally… Florence Ballard was born on this day in 1943. As a founding member of the Supremes, she sang on 10 No. 1 hits.

Motown owner Barry Gordy removed her from the group in 1967. She struggled with alcoholism, depression and poverty and died of a heart attack in 1976 at the age of 32.

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