There are a lot of ducks flying in the Bowman County High School’s gymnasium.
Hundreds of them.
The small featherless yellow plastic birds are part of Dollars for Scholars fundraiser when people purchase them in the hallway outside the gym and then throw them at a small target during the halftime of a basketball game.
The one yellow duck closest to the laminated copy of a bulldog paw placed in the center of the basketball court wins a ticket to the snack stand.
According to Connie Gaebe, the ducks will be flying six times during the basketball season, three times for the boys games and three times for the girls games.
The girls did it first Dec. 20 and will do it again Jan. 27 and Jan. 31 when the team hosts Hettinger-Scranton and Lemmon. The first game raised $63, according to Gaebe.
The boys team hosted the Chuck A Duck Dec. 27 and raised $123 against Hazen. The team hosted the throw Jan. 7 against Killdeer (raised $88) and Jan. 14 against Lemmon.
It is the second year the Dollars for Scholars program has used the Chuck a Duck fundraiser.
“We have 200 ducks. Last year, we started with 100 and it worked out really well. So this year, we purchased more ducks. We doubled up on the ducks.
“They cost a dollar and the winner gets … a voucher for a concession tab of popcorn, a beverage and a candy. The voucher has to be used that evening,” Gaebe said.
Throwing the ducks as a fundraiser is an idea from Bonnie Anderson and Judy Sparks, she said. “They were the first ladies to bring Dollars for Scholars to Bowman and they still are actively involved. It started in Bowman in 1994.
“I think it was her (Sparks’) idea to start Chuck a Duck as well,” Gaebe added. “When you go to the Dollars for Scholars conventions others will share some of the fundraising events which have been successful. She probably heard it at the convention.”
According to Gaebe, the Dollars for Scholars program runs its fundraising schedule through March. “By the end of March we need to be done with our fundraising … so they can apply and we can judge the applications and then distribute the money,” Gaebe explained.
The first Chuck A Duck in December was on the low side, she explained. “I think it was also the Friday right before Christmas break, so attendance wasn’t that high.”
Looking ahead, Gaebe said that the big attendance when the Hettinger-Scranton girls team comes to Bowman will almost guarantee a higher total. “I will predict that we will sell out of ducks that night. We are hoping the stands will be full that night.”
She also added that the Lions Club also holds its Bingo fundraiser during the halftimes.
The fact the Chuck A Duck takes only about a minute out of halftime means that it will still allow the game to flow, she said.
“It is nice that we can do some quick fundraising and still keep the game on schedule,” Gaebe added.
The Dollars for Scholars program raised about $15,000 last year, she said. “It was one of our highest (totals). We do fundraising all year long.”
When the girls’ basketball team hosts Hettinger-Scranton Jan. 27, the Bowman County Education Association will also be hosting a soup and pie event. “We’ll serve a variety of soups and a variety of pies and desserts. All that money that they will make will be given back to the Dollars for Scholars,” she added.