PHOTOS: Dottie's Duck Derby draws hundreds of entrants for Marco Y fundraiser

They're off! Ducks head down the lane, with an assist from the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Dept. Dottie's Duck Derby had its 18th annual running Saturday to benefit the YMCA. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

They're off! Ducks head down the lane, with an assist from the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Dept. Dottie's Duck Derby had its 18th annual running Saturday to benefit the YMCA. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

— Pamplona may have the Running of the Bulls, but Marco Island has the Derby of the Ducks. Once again, Dottie’s Duck Derby returned to the pool at the Greater Marco Family YMCA on Saturday, offering Islanders the chance to do a little “off track betting” for a good cause.

Master of Ceremonies Steve Reynolds presided, despite nursing a nasty sore throat, and the theme song on the sound system was “Disco Duck.”

Actually, the Duck Derby has its own theme song, the “Duck Racing Anthem,” sung to the tune of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” as it is every year. This year marks the 18th annual event. As is traditional, namesake Dottie Weiner wore her “I need to get my ducks in a row” T-shirt. Former city councilor Jerry Gibson got the ducks in a row for each heat, and then they cruised the length of the pool, propelled by blasts from the firehose of the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Dept.

At the finish line, Fritzi Holmes and Debra Shanahan tallied the winners. Approximately 135 private citizens bought ducks for the event, and with corporate and celebrity ducks, the tally was 225 fowl on the water. The event benefits the Aquatics Facility at the YMCA.

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