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Rubber Ducky Festival goes to the dogs

Windy weather prevents hot air balloon drop contest
By: Anne Stokes, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Dog lovers and their canine companions took over Johnson-Springview Park last Sunday. Inspired by the annual Great Sacramento Duck Race, event chairman Jim Crosthwaite organized the Foothill Rubber Ducky Festival as a benefit for RRUFF (Rocklin Residents Unite For Fido) and Rocklin?s first off-leash dog park, which opened in 2011. Supporters raised $2,000 by ?adopting? rubber duckys that were originally scheduled to be dropped from a hot air balloon floating 50 feet above a target. Winners were to be determined by how close their ?ducky? landed to several targets. When windy conditions prevented the hot air balloon from taking flight, volunteers stepped in, turned their backs on the targets and tossed the entries. ?Everything indicated that it would be OK for the wind today, but it kind of picked up,? said Crosthwaite. ?Plan B worked out just as well, just as fair for everybody. I think every one had a good time with it.? Rocklin resident Leslie Gandy was pleased to support RRUFF. ?We?re supporting the dog park,? said Gandy. ?It just seemed like a fun way to get out in the community, something that?s dog-friendly and fun. I bought ducks a month ago. Mary Anne La Flaur, whose rubber ducky earned her one year?s worth of Quick Quack car washes, attended because she loves to be involved in community events. ?We?re animal lovers,? she said. ?We thought it was a good cause.?