Rockingham Toyota Scion Honda of Salem, N.H., donated this year’s grand prize of $10,000 cash and has served as major sponsor for each of the event’s four years. The lucky ducks who came in first in previous regattas won their owners new cars donated by the dealership.
“It was thought that this year’s cash prize would have a wider appeal and it appears that it was in fact true,” Novak said.
This year’s Duck Regatta raised more than $38,000 for charities, after expenses, which Novak said is the largest amount raised since the first event. John Cuneo, director of Community Action in Haverhill, started the Duck Regatta in 2009.
This year’s grand prize winners, Cheryl Bonitz and Marie Krug of Haverhill were notified they’d won within the hours of their duck crossing the finish line.
At an appreciation luncheon for sponsors and volunteers, held Oct. 25 at the Haverhill Country Club, guests were shown an endless loop of pictures taken during the various stages of preparation for the event to the finale, along with images of sponsors and supporters, and a video of this year’s duck drop.
Novak said the Duck Regatta helps support a range of charities in the area, including the Haverhill YMCA and YWCA, the Greater Haverhill Boys & Girls Club, and Girls Inc.
“It’s not about the club. It’s about the people who helped by making donations as well as the volunteers who were the nuts and bolts of the operation,” Novak said. “Without the efforts of our club and other clubs in the city, the needs of many deserving organizations would go unmet.”
Rabbi Ira Korinow of Haverhill won a seven-day 2013 cruise for two from Boston to Bermuda on the Norwegian Dawn. The trip and travel money were donated by Pentucket Bank and transportation to and from Boston Harbor was donated by Black Tie Limo.