‘Ducky Time with the Gold Diggers’


By Leslie Carter

The laughter and shouts emanating from the Lansing homestead on Aug. 24 indicated that The San Diego GOLD (Gifts of Loving Donors) Diggers were really enjoying “Ducky Time with the Gold Diggers,” the third in a string of rubber ducky race parties held at the homes of members that have pools.

Greg Lansing greeted guests dressed as a character from “Duck Dynasty.” He didn’t quite match the little yellow rubber duck theme, but he did get lots of laughs.

At midpoint of the late afternoon event the collection of little floating ducks was brought out, and 100 of them were tossed into the water (the lucky ones that were backed by an entry fee). Some floated upright, as little ducks should, but some showed their individuality by floating ducky webbed feet up.

Pam Sullivan and Jay Sarno were appointed as Ducky Race judges.

To shouted encouragement the ducks bobbled their way to the south end of the pool where Jay Sarno scooped up a white duck — number 50. That duck was backed by Lee Tollefson, who had mailed in her entry fee and was not able to be at the party. She won the $500 prize.

There was Ducky Bingo. Winners could cry out “ducky” or quack when a game was won. Prizes were bottles of “two duck chuck.”

As a result of the quacking, there was an impromptu “duck quack” contest won by Ernesto Murillo, who was celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary with his wife Kathy Taylor. He was able to pick out a piece of jewelry for her as his prize.

There was also a yellow duck hidden somewhere on the grounds, the finder received a set of yellow ducky salt and pepper shakers.

Dinner was catered by Phil’s Barbeque chicken, spare ribs, baked beans, potato salad and cole slaw.

The $1,700 earned at this event will go into the Gold Diggers’ Philanthropy fund.

The Gold Diggers’ fundraise for non-profit organizations that serve children and their caregivers, the elderly, crime victims and others. The beneficiaries are small, or just starting up and do not have a professional staff of fundraisers to keep them from “falling through the cracks” of the traditional avenues of philanthropy.

The Gold Diggers have raised and distributed $700,000 among smaller non-profits over the past 20 years.

There are two signature events each year.

One is Hats Off to San Diego and features a colorful parade of contestants representing non-profit causes modeling imaginative headgear of their own creation, which show off their causes in line with that year’s Hat’s Off theme. This springtime event is always sold out. The Prado and the Del Mar Country Club were recent venues.

In early October there is always a Golden Coffee, a midday event to which prospective new members are invited. The Golden Coffee has designated the Angels of Aseltine, an auxiliary that serves the Aseltine School, as the beneficiary for 2013. Since 1968, “Aseltine School has welcomed, nurtured and engaged San Diego’s K-12 students struggling with learning disabilities and emotional issues whose needs are not being met in traditional academic settings.” Visit

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