The 13th Annual Chicago Ducky Derby Made a Record-Breaking Splash with over 60,000 Rubber Ducks adopted to Support Special Olympics Illinois
On August 9, 2018, over 60,000 rubber ducks splashed into the Chicago River to support Special Olympics Illinois. This year’s event saw more than 60,000 ducks adopted and raised more than $400,000 for Special Olympics Illinois.
Day of sales were at an all-time high for the event! The Chicago Ducky Derby reached their goal of 60,000 ducks adopted before closing sales at 12:30 p.m.
The event commenced with a family festival at 10 a.m. on Michigan Avenue. The family festival emceed by IHeart Media Radio personalities Melissa Forman of 104.3 MyFM and Paulina and Rufio of 103.5 Kiss FM. The festival featured entertainment, live music, prizes, face painting and Mascots including the Ducky Derby mascot, Splash. The ducks dropped into the Chicago River at a new location this year.
Friends, family members, volunteers and Special Olympics Illinois athletes gathered near Wabash Street Bridge at 1 p.m. to watch over 60,000-rubber ducks race to the finish line, where Special Olympics Illinois athlete and Duck Ambassador Jack Klawitter pulled the winning duck.
The grand prize was a brand new 2018 Chevy Equinox courtesy of the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevy Dealers. Other prizes included a $2,500 cash prize, an all-inclusive Apple Vacation, and Chicagoland Speedway tickets.
Chicago Cubs players Wilson Contreras and Kyle Hendricks served as the celebrity ambassadors for the Chicago Ducky Derby. Their team sold over 3,000 duck adoptions and raised over $15,000.
The success of the annual Ducky Derby was a collaborative effort by two hundred sales teams – both corporate teams and independent groups – who devote the summer to selling duck adoptions and spreading the word about the benefits of Special Olympics.
As Special Olympics observes its 50th Anniversary we are thankful for this longstanding fundraiser that has helped support programs for athletes over the years.
Thank you to all sponsors for their efforts in making this event a tremendous success. Jewel Osco presented the 13th Annual Chicago Ducky Derby. Thank you to Chicagoland and Northwestern Indiana Chevy Dealers, TD Ameritrade, Wintrust Bank, Sugar Factory American Brasserie, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, United Airlines, Apple Vacations, Dunkin’ Donuts, Clear Channel Outdoor, and Hollister. This year’s media sponsors were Fox 32 Chicago, The Chicago Sun-Times and iHeart Media.
Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and nearly 20,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support. If you are interested in getting involved with Special Olympics Illinois, visit www.soill.org. Follow Special Olympics Illinois on Facebook and Instagram: @specialolympicsillinois, and Twitter: @SO_Illinois.