Portsmouth woman wins Ducky Derby grand prize

By Ryan Ottney

September 4, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

The United Way of Scioto County got all of its ducks in a row this year and sold more than 1,000 tickets to their annual Ducky Derby on Sunday. This year’s grand prize was a 1999 Ford Contour, donated by Pistole’s Auto, and it went to Peggy Jones of Portsmouth.

The Derby celebration began Saturday, as the United Way marched in the River Days Parade with their giant rubber ducky. Mary Ann Miars-Peercy, executive director of the United Way of Scioto County, said the duck was once part of the annual Special Wish Ducky Derby, but had been sitting in a garage in Portsmouth until the United Way pulled it out and gave it some fresh feathers last year.

After the parade, the third annual Derby was ready to begin on Sunday at the Court Street Landing in Portsmouth.

Thirty-six children, age 12 and under, participated in the Little Quackers ducky race to win assorted prizes. At noon, the Ducky Derby began. Last year the United Way sold about 300 tickets, and this year they wanted to triple that number. More than 1,000 ducks hit the water this year.

“We have a very giving, very generous community. It doesn’t matter what it is, our community is always so generous to help. Our sponsorships increase each year, and it’s just been overwhelming. We’re just excited,” Miars-Peercy said.

The proceeds from raffle sales go to help the United Way of Scioto County’s childhood literacy program, “United We Read.” Miars-Peercy said one-in-six kids don’t have a single book in their household.

The grand prize this year, for the first duck across the line, was a 1999 Ford Contour, four-door sedan, donated by Pistole’s Auto on U.S. 23. That went to Peggy Jones, of Portsmouth, who bought a five-pack of tickets this year.

“As soon as I heard about, I’ve always sponsored it so I went out and got me a pack,” Jones said, who was excited and speechless as she picked up her winning car at Pistole’s Auto on Tuesday. She said she buys Derby tickets every year to support the United Way and its programs. She’s won a few small prizes in the past, but this is the first time she’s taken home the grand prize.

“The United Way is wonderful, and if we can promote it then we’re promoting Portsmouth,” Jones said.

First place after Jones was awarded $500; then $300 for second place, and $150 for third place. After that, there were about 50 smaller prizes, like Mary Kay and local gift cards, for the next ducks that cross the finish line. Even the “Lame Duck” that finished dead last won $50. In all, more than 40 prizes were given away at the Ducky Derby on Sunday.

For more information about the United Way of Scioto County, visit the United Way online at www.uwsciotocounty.org or on Facebook.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.