Duck storage barn collapses
January 6, 2009 · Updated 1:45 PM
ARLINGTON — Another culturally significant barn in the Arlington area collapsed under the snow during the Big Storm of ‘08.
“The 20,000 rubber ducks that race annually down the Stillaguamish River for the Arlington Rotary Club’s Great Stilly Duck Dash are now buried under an estimated 20 tons of debris,” reported the owner of the former barn, who will be president of the Rotary Club during the 2009 Duck Dash, Kurt McVay.
“The local volunteer fire department declined to mount a survivor search until the snow abates,” McVay said.
“Rescue efforts will get under way as soon as the snow melts and an excavator can be brought in to remove the estimated 20 tons of debris from the site.”
“The two-story 40 foot-by 60-foot barn is a total loss,” McVay said, adding the barn is located on Finn Settlement Road, north of Arlington.
The current president, Karri Hansen hopes the flock will be ready to go for the next Duck Dash, this coming Fourth of July.
“Those ducks have raised over $600,000 for Arlington non-profits, schools and college scholarships, as well as Rotary International’s project to eradicate polio,” Hansen said.
“This past year the Duck Dash ticket sales raised $45,000 and the proceeds were awarded to service organizations and scholars of Arlington, Lakewood and Darrington,” Hansen said.
Past president of Rotary, Ron Love helped start the Duck Dash 20 years ago. “Those ducks have enabled Rotary to help send dozens of students to college. Of our four yearly scholarships one is now worth $5,000 a year for four years. The others are for $1,000 each.
“Additionally, we have assisted organizations such as the Stillaguamish Senior Center, the Arlington Boy’s and Girls Club and the Arlington Food Bank. Last month we sponsored a Bronn Journey concert that helped with a $3,000 cash donation and 500 pounds of food for the food bank,” Love said.
“This was in addition to the food baskets that we provided food bank customers for Christmas.”
The Great Stilly Duck Dash pays out $8,000 in cash prizes starting with a winner’s purse of $5,000, which was donated in 2008 by North County Bank. Dr. Cartwright’s Arlington Orthopedic Institute donated the $3,000 second prize and Bayliner donated $1,000 for the third prize, McVay reported.
McVay considers the ducks an important faction of the club’s membership and he is searching for a new home for them.
“They don’t eat much,” McVay laughed. Anyone with space to store 20,000 ducks should call him at 360-435-7415.