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The Rotary Club of Rockford Michigan sponsors or hosts several events throughout the year. 
May is flying by which means that the Duck race is right around the corner.  If you are not sure what a Big Daddy Duck race is, here is the short version: we talk to local businesses and convince them to support our club by donating $100 per duck for the race. They then get a 10" rubber duck to decorate and participate in the race. The participating businesses will have the duck displayed at our booth at Start of Summer (we get a lot of traffic!), they will have their duck in the parade, they will have their logo on our website for 1 year, and they can participate in Duck Prize to see which duck is the most popular in Rockford (online voting).  We will award trophies for fastest, prettiest and slowest duck as well.  
The event is not just for businesses.  If you or your family want to sponsor a duck, just let us know.
If you want in on this fun event, please contact any Rockford Rotarian and ask them for a duck. Or you can click on the button below to go to the request form. Once the form has been submitted, a Rotarian will contact you. Thanks! 
More info for participants: 
* To participate in the online voting ducks need to be turned in by May 31st. There are several drop off points in Rockford including the Chamber of Commerce offices, the Edge Barbershop and Knape Industries on Northland drive. 
* Online voting begins June 1st.  Tell your friends to vote for your duck.  Online voting will continue for 10 days.  The duck with the most votes at the end of voting will be crowned as the most popular duck in Rockford.  Look for the voting form link here.  Ducks will be displayed in downtown Rockford and area businesses. You can also vote for your favorite ducks using the QR code on the race posters posted around town. 
* Keep an eye out for the Big Huge Daddy Duck around town.  Feel free to take pictures of the Big Huge Duck (23' tall) and post them on social media. Please tag the photos with #rockfordmirotary #bigdaddyduck.  Have fun!
* Stop by our booth at Start of Summer to see all the ducks. 
* The duck race itself will take place on June 15th at the dam in Rockford at 6 p.m.  Spectators can watch the ducks finish in Richardson-Sowerby Park.  It takes the ducks about 12 minutes to go from the start line to the line in the water at the park.  Everyone is welcome!
* If participants are not going to have their ducks voted on during the Duck Prize portion of the event, please turn your duck in by June 13th for display on the Rotary float. 
Here is one of the ducks from this year.  This one was created by our President (Ted Sees). He owns Rockford Family Eyecare. If you love Game of Thrones and love his duck, please vote for him when the online voting begins. 
If you need some duck decorating ideas to get your creative juices flowing, you can browse the duck picture gallery below.  
We support several local and international projects throughout the year. 
Rockford Rotary sponsors and actively runs a program called STRIVE that pairs adult mentors with senior high school students.  The students are identified by the schools as being in danger of not graduating. Many of them simply need more help and/or an involved adult to get them over the hump and keep them motivated.  We award scholarships to the students for different things like highest GPA, most improvement, etc.  It is a very rewarding experience for mentors and students alike.
The Big Daddy Duck Race
Rockford area businesses purchase ducks and decorate them for the race.  We build a float each year and display the ducks in the parade.  We also give out candy which is a lot of fun!  The 10" ducks are on display in our booth at the Start of Summer Celebration in downtown Rockford. People vote for their favorite duck by placing coins or bills in the jar next to it.  We count up the money and award a "prettiest duck" trophy to the winner.  Saturday evening of the Start of Summer Celebration, we put the ducks in the water in front of the dam and race them to Richardson-Sowersby park.  We award a trophy for the "fastest" duck.  The money raised goes to local programs including sponsorship of the summer reading program at Hillview in Rockford. 
Reading Rocks in Rockford
Reading Rocks in Rockford started as a Rotary event and we created the event to encourage literacy in our town.  Recently, the Rockford Library has taken over the event and hosts it in early June.  The goal is to get kids excited about reading and to keep them reading all summer.  Authors of children books attend the event and interact with young readers.  We help setup tents the event, and we staff the Hook-a-Book tent each year.  At Hook-a-Book, young readers receive a free book just for throwing their fishing line into the "water" and reeling it back in.  It is a very rewarding service experience for Rotarians.
Youth Exchange
Our club supports an inbound and outbound international exchange student - often yearly.  Our current inbound student is from Brazil.  We find host families and support the student any way that we can to enrich both the community's and the student's exchange experience. 
Life Leadership Conference
Each year we sponsor 6 or 7 Rockford High School students to attend the Life Leadership Conference sponsored by the Rotary International District 6290.  Students are chosen for their leadership potential and scholarship.  Interviews take place in the spring of each year.  To read more about the conference follow this LINK.
Rotary International's longtime goal has been to eliminate polio worldwide.  We are in fact very close to doing that LINK. We support the district and international Rotary organization's effort in the fight against polio. 
End Polio Now
Help us end polio now!
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May 28, 2019
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