Record-Breaker: Special Olympics Sells All 60,000 Rubber Ducks For 13th Annual Chicago Ducky Derby

Andy Dahn
August 10, 2018 - 8:33 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- There was some dumping in the Chicago River on Thursday afternoon, but don't worry, it was for a good cause.

The 13th Annual Chicago Ducky Derby took place Thursday afternoon at the Chicago River and the Wabash Avenue bridge benefitting Special Olympics Illinois. Thousands of spectators took to the river to watch ducks splashdown into the river.

But this year was extra special though, as the big splash was a record-breaker.

"We've been doing this for 13 years and this is the first year we have ever sold out so we are so grateful and so excited that we sold all 60,000 ducks," said Alexandra McMillin with Special Olympics Illinois.

Sixty-thousand rubber ducks, purchased and "adopted" from supporters, were dumped from a truck off the Wabash Avenue bridge into the Chicago River and floated to the finish line - not exactly a sight that Karen Chesley expected to see during her visit from New York.

"It was really fun! Just watching them all get dumped out on Wabash Avenue was pretty cool," she said.

WBBM Newsradio/Shannon Blum

McMillen said the 13th annual event helps more than 23,000 athletes and nearly 20,000 young athletes across Illinois.

"It's so amazing to see people supporting them and to fundraise for them and to get involved," she said.

Special Olympics Illinois

Athlete and Duck Ambassador Jack Klawitter, 12, picked the lucky duck. He was one of the very first Special Olympics Young Athletes in Illinois and plays basketball, swimming, and track, and Unified golf with his dad.

It's owner of the lucky ducky won a new car!