Story by Sara Paul
It was a quack-tastic afternoon on Sun., May 20 in the Village of Warwick, as the rain ducked away just long enough for the 28th annual Winslow Therapeutic Riding Center’s Duck Derby.
Hundreds of eager ticket holders surrounded the Wawayanda Creek to catch a glimpse of more than 3,000 plastic ducks racing from the South St. to the Main St. bridges. Each duck donned a number that corresponded with $5 tickets that were available at local businesses and on the day of the race.
At exactly 1:30 pm, the ducks were dumped into the Creek, and the first eight brightly colored pink, yellow, and blue winners were swept up and delivered to the event’s base camp in the Chase Bank parking lot, where the winning names were announced.
Coming in first place is Emma Krish, who won a $1,000, sponsored by CLC Transportation of Mt. Kisco, NY. The second place winner is Maggie Palmeri, who won a HP laptop computer, sponsored by Vogel & Moore Insurance Agency of Warwick. Third place winner Sheila Stamboni received a $250 Home Depot Gift Card, sponsored by Roger and Cindy Vander Plaat of Warwick.
Fourth place winner Reid Morgan won an Apple Watch, sponsored by Stage & Nathans LLP of Warwick, while fifth place winner Joe Ebler won a FitBit Charge 2, sponsored by Michael McSweeney Certified Financial Services of Warwick. The sixth place winner, John Porcella, received an Amazon Echo, sponsored by Priscilla and Lindsay Orr of Saugerties, NY. Seventh place winner Fidel Astofaj won four tickets to a NYC show, sponsored by WTBQ Radio of Warwick. Eighth place winner Guliette Montagnino received a Warwick Valley Farmers’ Market Basket, sponsored by the vendors of the Warwick Valley Farmers’ Market.
All proceeds from the event benefit Winslow and about 20 additional clubs and agencies.
“This is such a special community event, and a perfect kick off for spring. The kids love to watch the ducks sailing down the river, and this fundraiser generates much needed funds for some incredible organizations,” said Winslow Executive Director Sue Ferro.
With the Warwick Valley Farmers’ Market also in full swing in the South St. Parking lot, there was no shortage of participants, onlookers, locals and tourists.
“It’s a really fun, cute event – kind of a novelty – and with the Farmers’ Market here, it works out well for everyone involved. This is just a great Village,” said Volunteer Coordinator and Riding Instructor Eileen Deehan.
Winslow Therapeutic Center is a not-for-profit organization offering therapeutic horseback riding healing programs for children and adults. Established in 1974, the Center is “truly changing lives for people every single day,” says Ferro, who has worked at Winslow for 15 years, serving as executive director for five years.
“When people begin, they may not have any self-confidence, but little-by-little they change because they are actually riding a horse and it builds confidence. You really need to see the transformation of mind, body, and spirit to appreciate how powerful it is,” said Ferro.
For more information about Winslow Therapeutic Riding Center, visit www.winslow.org.