Meet Maria Meyer- 2019 Duck Derby Ambassador

Over 60,000 rubber ducks will drop off the Wabash Bridge into the Chicago River at 1 p.m. August 8, 2019! The 14th Annual Chicago Ducky Derby to benefit Special Olympics Illinois enthralls people of all ages who watch the ducks “race” to the finish line.

Special Olympics Illinois athlete and 2019 Duck Derby Ambassador, Maria Meyer will be at the finish line to hold up the winning duck.

Maria is a free-spirited 20-year-old from Hinsdale, Illinois where she lives with her parents, siblings, and German Shepherd, Ozzie. She graduated from Hinsdale Central High School in 2017 where she was a four-year member of the Special Olympics basketball team as well as the track and field team. Maria was also a varsity cheerleader.

She is currently a student at the Hinsdale South Transition Center and hopes to attend college in the fall of 2021. Maria loves to play sports, sing and is involved in the performing arts. She has medaled in the Special Olympics State Summer Games for the past eight years. Maria also qualified for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games last year in Seattle, Washington where she medaled in the swim competition. An aspiring thespian, Maria is a member of the ensemble of A.B.L.E., a performing arts group that provides opportunities to individuals with developmental differences. In her spare time, Maria loves to travel. She has visited 38 of our 50 states and 16 foreign countries. Maria is honored to be the Ducky Derby Ambassador.

Ducks are available for adoption for $5 online at and in person on race day, August 8, beginning at 7 a.m. at 400 N. Michigan Avenue. Sales close prior to Splashdown at 12:30 p.m. The Family Festival begins at 10 a.m. in Pioneer Plaza and features roaming entertainment, prizes, face painting, and the Ducky Derby mascot Splash. The festival will have live entertainment performed by 7th Heaven, a Chicago-based rock band who’s charted #1 on Midwest Billboard Charts three times.

Last year’s event sold out with 60,000 ducks adopted and raised more than $420,000 for Special Olympics Illinois.  This year, Special Olympics Illinois aims to sell 65,000 rubber ducks.  Join Special Olympics Illinois on August 8, 2019, for the 14th Annual Chicago Ducky Derby! #ChiDuckyDerby