ELIZABETHTOWN, Kentucky — The Swope Family of Dealerships helped the community put its ducks in a row last Saturday by giving away a 2016 Nissan Versa Note as grand prize in the Ken-Ducky Derby, a fundraiser and official event of the Kentucky Derby Festival.
The Versa Note will be one of the entrants in the Festival's Pegasus Parade May 5.
Participants adopted one of the 28,000 yellow rubber ducks for $5 each, with proceeds benefiting Harbor House, a training day center for adults with developmental and physical disabilities.
The ducks were dumped into the Ohio River and the sponsor whose duck floated across the finish line first won the Versa.
"I got to call Frank and Carolyn Arnold to tell them they won and they were very excited because even though you adopt a duck, you never think you're going to win," said Carl Swope, president and CEO of the Swope Family of Dealerships.
This marks the first time the Ken-Ducky Derby was part of the official Kentucky Derby festivities.
The impact of that strategic move led to a record-breaking fundraiser, with nearly 5,000 more ducks sold than the previous year, and higher visibility for the dealership group, Swope told Edmunds.
"People have been talking about it and now the car gets to be in the Pegasus Parade, another Festival event," where they see the dealership's name, Swope said. "That's an outright win for us."
Edmunds says: If it quacks like a duck, it is a ducky of a dealership sponsorship program.