75,000 rubber ducks make a splash in Chicago River for this year’s ducky derby

Special Olympics Illinois raised more than $450,000 for their programs.

SHARE 75,000 rubber ducks make a splash in Chicago River for this year’s ducky derby
Rubber ducks in sunglasses float on the Chicago River for the Special Olympics Ducky Derby.

All 75,000 rubber ducks that were up for adoption for the Chicago Ducky Derby were sold out the day before the race.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Getting to be the ambassador for the 2022 Chicago Ducky Derby was an experience Special Olympics athlete Kyle Tuckey called phenomenal.

“It’s such a big honor,” Tuckey said

Special Olympics Illinois held its 17th annual Ducky Derby on Thursday with a big crowd getting the chance to watch the splash down of 75,000 ducks in the Chicago River and race to the finish line.

The Ducky Derby is a fundraising event that helps Special Olympics Illinois support more than 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities with programming, including participating in athletic competitions and providing health services.

Alex McMillin, a spokeswoman for Special Olympics Illinois, said the organization reached its goal of selling all 75,000 rubber ducks, or up for “adoption,” raising more than $450,000.

Tuckey said once he learned he was going to be this year’s ambassador, he got straight to work promoting the event.

“I told everyone my goal from the start was 75,000, and we sold out a day before the race.”

75,000 ducks are released onto the Chicago River during the 17th annual Chicago Ducky Derby on Thursday.

75,000 ducks are released onto the Chicago River during the 17th annual Chicago Ducky Derby on Thursday.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

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