Volunteers gearing up for annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby

The 10th annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby drops in two weeks, and Special Olympics Illinois is working to get its  'ducks in row.' 

FOX 32 checked out a duck tagging party at the Great Lakes Coca-Cola distribution plant on Thursday, and the ducks were gathered by the thousands. 

"This is a lot of fun for us,” said Jerry Smith, Manager of Great Lakes Coca-Cola.

It’s also a lot of work for Great Lakes Coca-Cola employees.

"60 thousand ducks," Smith added.

Every duck must be de-tagged and tagged for the big Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby, which is the signature fundraiser benefiting Special Olympics Illinois.

"It's a good cause for Special Olympics athletes," said Special Olympic Athlete Ela Stoklosa.

It’s a good cause that wouldn’t be possible without the help of over 250 Coca-Cola volunteers.

Smith said it's a labor of love.

"It's really around inclusion and optimism. It's about us giving back to the community we live in," he said.

The folks at Great Lakes Coca-Cola and 5 other Coca-Cola distribution centers help tag, pack and ship the duck to the drop site. 

"But most importantly. We help get the ducks out of the river after the event," Smith said.

And that isn't an easy job.

"It's about a 5 hour job," he added.

But a job that is well worth it.

"No duck left behind,” Smith said.

FOX 32 is a proud partner of Special Olympics Illinois, and we will broadcast the 10th annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby live.

Our special begins right after FOX 32 News at noon on August 6th, and it's not too late to adopt a duck!

Go to ChicagoDuckRace.com to get your duck in the derby.

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