Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Dottie’s Duck Derby



By Coastal Breeze News Staff

The 20th Annual Dottie’s Duck Derby will be held on Saturday, April 25th in conjunction with Healthy Kids Day at the Greater Marco Island YMCA. Besides the duck derby, there will be music, pool games and prizes. The race time will commence at 1:00 and run until all the ducks are in. With a little help from the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department spray, ducks will make their way toward the finish line of the Olympic sized pool. Registration is $15.00 per duck or $25.00 for two ducks. You can purchase celebrity/rock and roll ducks at $30 per duck, or corporate/concert ducks are $30.00 or single corporate or celebrity ducks are $50.00, you can keep ducks at these levels. The derby will help raise funds for the Miss Dottie Aquatics Center at the Y. Dottie Weiner, the derby’s namesake, made it her life’s mission to teach children how to swim. What a successful mission it was! Many local families can claim Miss Dottie taught as many as three generations of their family. Literally, thousands and thousands of children went through Miss Dottie’s swimming classes. She began lessons at the Island Country Club before the YMCA had a pool. Miss Dottie was a competitive swimmer, a synchronized swimmer, a diver and a life guard. Miss Dottie donned the cover of Life magazine early in her aquatic career. She is also known for her charitable work through organizations like the Sunrise Rotary, as well as running bingo and Mah Jongg for the Y. Children were taught to ‘reach and pull’ their way to the edge of a pool, and everyone, including parents, anxiously awaited a cookie when class was over. Miss Dottie knew how important it was for children surrounded by water to learn to swim at an early age. Not only did she build the foundation of the aquatics programming the YMCA now offers, she initiated the waterwise program for Tommie Barfield as well as Manatee Middle School students. Purchase your duck today and make sure to make it down for the races. A day of family-friendly fun with music, refreshments and racing rubber duckies. Who could ask for anything more? For more information, contact Fritzi Holmes at 239/394-0974 or via email at

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