The Rubber Ducks return to Little Lake

Little Lake held the 11th Annual Valley Intervention Program Duck Race

Photos by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
The 11th Annual Duck Race was held at Little Lake in East Hemet.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

Many of us have childhood memories of playing with our rubber duckie while taking our evening baths. On the other hand, not a whole lot of us have memories of playing with rubber ducks at the local lake. For many of today’s local youth, however, that will be a memory they can share with their kids.
Saturday, April 21 saw hundreds descend on Little Lake in East Hemet for the Valley Intervention Program’s 11th Annual Duck Race on the lake. Yes, we are talking about rubber ducks. The live ducks and geese living at Little Lake did not participate in this race, sorry to say.

Marcia Nogrady (left), won the grand prize.

Jared Dobbins, executive director of the VIP Tots program, explained what the ducks were doing there. “It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Dobbins. “All the proceeds that come in through this fundraiser have historically been used to be able to provide better childcare and opportunities to families in this area. It started initially as a small fun day, and as more of the community got involved, it evolved into a larger fundraiser now.”
Over 2,000 people registered for their chance to win the grand prize, thanks in part to Little Lake School encouraging students to raise funds for the VIP Tots program. Visitors not only got to watch the race and shop the vendors, but also got to enter in a raffle to win prizes for the kids, eat lunch and play in the bounce house. There was no shortage of fun at Little Lake on Saturday.
At 1:18 p.m., thousands of rubber ducks were launched into the lake. The weather was clear and calm, so race officials had to get the ducks moving in a more artificial way. Taking a motorboat and making waves to drive them along the pre-established route, the rubber ducks headed for the finish line. Each duck had a number assigned to it, corresponding to each individual entrant.
Here are the lucky entrants whose ducks crossed the finish line first:
– Third place and $400 went to Roma Patel
– Second place and $600 was netted by Vince Record
– The winning duck claimed $1,000 for Marcia Nogrady
For every 20 tickets sold, a name was entered into a drawing for tickets to The Living Desert in Palm Springs. Those went to Luke Sanes.
The student who sold the most tickets, and as a result gets to go to Knott’s Berry Farm, was Cole Worthington. The teacher that sold the most was Jessica Cybil. The classroom whose students sold the most was Room 7B.
Congratulations to this year’s winning entrants! In conclusion, Dobbins wanted to remind everyone that “no actual ducks were harmed.”
To find out how you can support the VIP Tots Program, and to keep an eye out for the 12th Annual Duck Race next April, please visit

Thousands of ducks hit the water for the big race.

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