Northwest Colorado Health: Rubber Ducky Race returns Aug. 27 | CraigDailyPress.com

Northwest Colorado Health: Rubber Ducky Race returns Aug. 27

Tamera Manzanares

The annual Rubber Ducky Race fundraiser, hosted by Northwest Colorado Health, will take place along the Yampa River Sept. 10 in Steamboat Springs.

You've heard of the goose that laid the golden egg. How about the duck with the golden ticket? A $500 grand prize will be the big draw of the second annual Rubber Ducky Race for Hospice on Aug. 27 in Craig. The event, hosted by Northwest Colorado Health (formerly Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association) will include a total of $1,000 in cash prizes.

"We were so pleased with the community's support of our first Rubber Ducky Race in 2015," said Mindy Marriott, volunteer and special events coordinator for Northwest Colorado Health. "We're excited to see even more people get involved this year."

The Rubber Ducky Race raises funds for Northwest Colorado Health's Hospice program. The family-focused event and post-race party are a celebration of community and the many people Hospice has touched in Moffat County.

Rubber Ducky tickets are $10 (you don't need to be present to win). Organizers are seeking more business sponsors and volunteers to help sell tickets throughout August. Volunteer opportunities also are available the day of the event.

"All you need is a smiling face and desire to help, and I will find a role that works for you," Marriott said.

Northwest Colorado Health's Hospice program has cared for and comforted terminally ill patients and their loved ones in Moffat and Routt counties for more than 20 years; it is the only hospice program in the Yampa Valley.

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The Hospice team includes medical directors, nurses, physical therapists, Certified Nurse Aides, medical social workers, a spiritual care and bereavement coordinator and volunteers. They work together to addresses patients' needs, providing medical care and easing physical, emotional and spiritual pain as they near the end of life. Hospice also supports grieving children and families for a year following a loved one's death.

"Hospice focuses on a patient's quality of life and helping them – and their family – heal what can be healed," said Julie Gates, clinical supervisor of home services at Northwest Colorado Health. "When a family is faced with the knowledge that their loved one has reached end of life, it can cause turmoil. Our goal is to walk beside them through this difficult journey, answering their questions and supporting them in any way we can."

Patients receive all the services they need regardless of their ability to pay. Donations and proceeds from fundraisers such as the Rubber Ducky Race help cover costs of medications, medical equipment and other aspects of care not fully covered by insurance.

"The Rubber Ducky Race is such a fun event," Gates said. "Hospice is a program that works to bring family together, and this event really does mirror that."

The Rubber Ducky Race will begin at 11 a.m. at the Ranney Street Bridge. The finish line and post-race party will be at Loudy-Simpson Park.

"It's so neat to see kids, parents and grandparents enjoying the activities and relaxing in the park," Marriott said. "It's a great way to spend a Saturday."

Northwest Colorado Health also will hold a Rubber Ducky Race in Steamboat Springs on Sept. 10.

Tickets for the Rubber Ducky Race are available at northwestcoloradohealth.org/rubberducky or at Northwest Colorado Health, 745 Russell Street. If you'd like to volunteer or are interested in sponsoring the race, call Mindy Marriott at 970-871-7609.