As we reported last April, the Sunrise Rotary club of Port Townsend planned on going ahead with our signature fund raiser this year even though the community Rhododendron Festival Grand Parade was canceled for a second year in a row.
Typically, hundreds of spectators would line up to watch golf balls take over the street in Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary’s “Running of the Balls,” on the third Saturday in May, just before the Annual Rhododendron Festival Grand Parade. But not this year, although we did end up with about 50 or more community spectators to help coral and toss back stray balls into play, it was still a grand time for all Rotarians and spectators!
At noon the city closed the road, and the scramble began, the catch basin was unloaded, set up and tested while many volunteers, including students from Port Townsend High School Mock Trial Team and Interact Club, walked up hill laying the track. The balls were all dumped into the spectacular new tumblers and rotated to mix them up thoroughly then dumped into the holding box. The Bull was on hand making all the announcements and then it was time!
We were honored to have real “Royalty” with us this year, the 2021 Rhododendron Festival Queen and her court were on hand to “pull the tail” and released the balls!
At 12:30 PM a few thousand numbered golf balls bumped and bounced for three blocks to the end of the course. And the winners were announced!
With ball #1261, Bill Brown was our Grand Prize winner; with ball #2170, Jeffrey Hartman came in second; followed by ball # 1580, which belonged to M. Patterson, our third-place winner.
“We learn something new every year”, said event chair and Club President, Lois Sherwood, “and next year it will be even bigger and better than ever. We can only hope for the return of the Rhododendron Festival Grand Parade next year to celebrate our 10th Running!”
See you all next year… 3rd Saturday in May, Port Townsend Washington.