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Bobbing with the ducks

<p>The 22nd Annual Rubber Duckie Race at Waikoloa Kings’ Shops will be on July 4th, with proceeds benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of Hawaii. (FILE PHOTO)</p>

The 22nd Annual Rubber Duckie Race at Waikoloa Kings’ Shops will be on July 4th, with proceeds benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of Hawaii. (FILE PHOTO)

It’s big prizes for the 22nd Annual Rubber Duckie Race at the Waikoloa Beach Resort on July 4. More than 50 prizes totaling $25,000 will be given out for winning yellow rubber duckies, and Becky Ryan, manager at Waikoloa King Shops, said all funds gathered benefit the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii.

The event will also honor and recognize Big Island first responders for their service to our community: Captain Sean Sommers, Captain Brett Matsuda and Captain Gifford Matsuoka of the South Kohala Fire Station, police officer Kyle Hirayama, field operations, area II of the South Kohala patrol, Sergeant James Correa, field operations, area I of the South Hilo patrol, and Rita Hirai, director of Safety for Ocean Sports.

“Tour operators, restaurants, hotels and golf courses have donated all kinds of prizes,” said Ryan.

People may purchase duck adoption certificates at the Kings’ Shops management office as well as the Queen’s Marketplace management office. Online adoptions can be made on site where the cost for one adopted duck is $5 or purchase a “quack pack” of four adoption certificates and get a duckie T-shirt for a $25 donation.

“There are so many wonderful prizes,” Ryan said. “The event is held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. so that people can head over to the Queen Shops for fireworks at 8 p.m.”

The adopted ducks are tagged with a waterproof ticket listing adoption certificate number and the name of the adoptee. At exactly 3 p.m., all the rubber duckies, which are suspended in a giant cage, are released into the King’s Lake. The first 50 duckies to cross the finish line win one of the prizes.

Ryan said the grand prize includes two nights in the Royal Suite at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott, a luau for two, four rounds of golf from Waikoloa Golf, $200 Kings’ Shops shopping spree, a $100 shopping certificate from Waikoloa Village Market, $200 to Roy’s Waikoloa Bar Grill and a hand-painted silk scarf from Martin & MacArthur.

For the 22nd place prize, a private sunset cruise for 22 people, which also includes an open bar and light pupus from Ocean Sports Hawaii.

“We’ve had tremendous support from the community, and this is our chance to give back,” said Ryan. “Our staff works so hard and we are all looking forward to this.”

Past events have raised more than $30,000, and Steven Schwartz, general manager of Kings’ Shops said the much needed funds assist those with cerebral palsy and associated disabilities.

At the Kings’ shops, music starts at 10 a.m. with Kahikina Nahenahe ‘Ohana and Dam Str8. Merriman’s Market Cafe will hold a watermelon eating contest at 1 p.m. and at 1:30 p.m., Three Fat Pigs Restaurant will have a cooking competition. At 3:30 p.m. Mystik Rhythmz continues the music.

More than 7,000 ducks are expected to be purchased, and over the course of the day, more than 2,000 people will be enjoying the festivities.

For more information call 886-8811. To download a flier and entry form, visit United Cerebral Palsy of Hawaii may be found at