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Turtles float past civic center to raise $37K for Boys & Girls Club

TurtleFloat_17Hundreds of turtles raced down the drainage ditch in front of Love Civic Center on Saturday to raise $37,890 in the Boys and Girls Club of the Red River Valley’s 11th annual Johnny Stallings Memorial Great Paris Turtle Float.

This year marked the first time to hold the race at the civic center.

“I think it’s a great idea to move the race over here,” Gene Stallings said. “I’m sure we’ll have a record number of turtles that will be adopted, and that’s a good thing.”

Executive Director Henry Shaw also expected to do well with the Turtle Float, which is one of two major fundraisers for the club each year. The other is the annual youth auction.

“Last year was $35,000. Our goal this year is $40,000. We’ll be close. We’ve had a ton of walk ups,” Shaw said. “Thank you to the community, our staff and our most excellent board of directors for supporting ‘the positive place for youth’ – your Boys and Girls Club of the Red River Valley.”

This year, 5,000 turtles were up for adoption at $10 each or a herd of 11 for $100. Mark Rhea won $3,000 for first place. The second-place prize of $2,000 went to Big Country Farm and Ranch. Gary Bassett earned $1,000 for third place as well as the fourth-place of two Rangers tickets. The fifth-place Yeti cooler went to Wayne Kirby. Ten turtles were also selected at random for a quick-pick $50 prize.

The event is named for Stalling’s son, and it was Stallings himself who brought the idea for the float to Paris.

“When I coached the Phoenix Cardinals, they had the Great Duck Race,” he said. “It was $100 a duck, and here you can get 11 turtles for $100. But they were giving away a Mercedes.”

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