The Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary started its annual “Running of the Balls” in 2012, and while social distancing has forced the Rotary to scale down the event, to the point that no actual …
The Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary started its annual “Running of the Balls” in 2012, and while social distancing has forced the Rotary to scale down the event, to the point that no actual golf balls will be rolled down the city’s streets, it’s still carrying on as a fundraiser this year.
“It was scheduled to run May 16, so instead of rolling balls down Monroe Street, we set up a big barrel in front of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce in the middle of the day that same Saturday, and dumped all the ticket stubs into the barrel to draw from.”
Hubbard credited Bill Brown with bringing the “Running of the Balls” concept to Port Townsend from his former Rotary branch in Utah.
“It was similar to other Rotaries’ duck derbies, only with 4,000 golf balls down a street instead of rubber ducks down a river,” Hubbard said. “The event is in the black, and over the years, we’ve allowed the Noon Rotary and the Kiwanis to buy 400 balls for $100. If they win, the prizes go to those groups’ charities of choice.”
The Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary sold 1,442 tickets this year, which Hubbard estimated was at least 2,500 less than previous years, but ticket sales and sponsorships remained steady enough for the event to remain in the black.
“This year’s money will probably go toward paying for our dictionary project, supplying a new full-color dictionary to each third-grade student in Jefferson County,” Hubbard said.
This year’s winners are as follows:
• The Moraco family with the first prize of $2,000.
• Kate Nesse with second prize of $500.
• The Kiwanis Club of Port Townsend with third prize of $250.
“We sold tickets through Facebook this year and are thinking about doing it again next year,” Hubbard said. “The drawback is we haven’t received any money from Facebook yet, since it takes six to eight weeks to get paid, so we’re still waiting for our payment.”