25th United Way Of Western Nebraska Duck Draw Sat With Festival In Scottsbluff


      Time is running out to get your rubber duck for the United Way of Western Nebraska’s 25th Annual Duck Draw, coming up Saturday in Scottsbluff. 

    One of  United Way’s primary missions is being an umbrella fundraising organization that provides support for 27 local non-profit programs who are helping families struggling to meet basic needs. The Duck Draw is its biggest fundraising event.

      For most of its existence, United Way of Western Nebraska had two separate operations in the Panhandle, finally combining them just a couple years ago. 

    Executive Director Karen says the Duck Draw began as just a Scottsbluff-area event, but has expanded this year with sales locations in Sidney, Alliance, and Chadron, where Ducks are available at the New Leaf in Chadron, The idea is to emphasize unity across.

Ducks are $10 each with a Quacky Trio of 3 for $25 or a Quacky Combo of 7 for $60. The Trio and Combo include a Quack Sack with 31 coupons to local merchants and a commemorative rubber duck. Ducks can also be purchased online at the United Way web site uwwn.org/duck

     TEAM Auto Center in Scottsbluff is the biggest sponsor and donor, giving the largest prize, a 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross. There are 38 other prizes including a 2022 Pioneer 520 Side-by-Side, cash, and gift cards.

     Benzel says none of the prizes were donated by Dawes or Box Butte businesses because she wants to use this year to get them used to the idea and excitement of the Duck Draw.

This year’s event has expanded into a family-friendly Duck Draw Festival with games, food and music at the 18th Street Downtown Plaza in Scottsbluff. It starts Saturday at 9:00 with the Ducks being drawn at 10:30 am. Benzel emphasizes that just as you don’t have to buy your Ducks in the Twin Cities, you don’t have to be there to win, either.

The Duck Draw began as the Duck Dash, with thousands of ducks dumped into the North Platte River at Scottsbluff, then fished out a little ways downstream. High water forced a switch one year to just dumping the ducks into a parking lot, and that evolved into the current drawing of tickets from a tumbler decorated with ducks.