WESTBOROUGH – It was a morning of smiles on Saturday at the Mill Pond spillway in Westborough as community members gathered for the Westborough Lions Club’s second annual Rubber Duck Derby.
With spectators flanking the spillway, club members pushed more than 300 ducks across the starting line of a short race for prize money and charity causes.
“It’s just a fun event and we’re happy that we can host it,” Lions Club Publicity and Communications Officer Susan Ash told the Community Advocate after the conclusion of the race.
Westborough TV General Manager Karen Henderson took the top prize when her sponsored duck won the race.
Carol Smith of Naples, Florida took second place, while Select Board Member Shelby Marshall sponsored what was the eventual third place duck.
The Lions first ran their event a year ago. They did so, however, without spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time.
That made this the first duck derby in Westborough with a crowd on hand.
“It was really just us,” Ash said of the 2021 race. “So, this year, it was great to be able to have the people who adopted the ducks come and watch.”
Money raised from 311 total duck sponsorships will help fund a $1,000 scholarship for a Westborough high-school-age student.
Sponsorship fees also support prizes for duck derby winners as well as the ongoing, year-round charity work of the Lions Club.
“The money will go to good use,” Ash said.
Where this event turned out to be a major success, Ash and other organizers noted that it is not necessarily easy to find the kind of running water needed for a duck race at this time of year in Westborough.
An added barrier, Ash said, has been the presence of a industrious beaver known to stop up part of the spillway stream.
“Thankfully, he resolved to take a few days off and let the water flow so that we could have the race continue,” she said.
The deadline to apply for the Lions Club’s scholarship is Friday, April 15.
Learn more about the scholarship and the Lions Club at https://e-clubhouse.org/sites/westborough/.