Chicago's 10th Annual Rubber Ducky Derby benefits Special Olympics

- Thousands watched as the Chicago River turned yellow Thursday for the 10th Annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby, which benefits Special Olympics Illinois.

And despite a slow start, the Duck Derby was a big hit.

"We are getting word now that there is an issue with the dump truck."

The ducks were not quite ready to make a splash.

But when the dump truck gate finally opened, the yellow waterfall was spectacular. The Chicago River was dive-bombed by thousands and thousands of ducks from the Columbus Bridge. 

Every single duck served a critical purpose in the future of Special Olympics Illinois. 

"It’s a great way to raise awareness and raise funds for Special Olympics and the athletes. We have over 22-thousand athletes participating,” said Dave Breen, President and CEO of Special Olympics Illinois.

As the ducks made their way to the finish line, with the help of some water cannons, FOX 32 talked to Ryan and Mallory, who are both global messengers for Special Olympics Illinois.

FOX 32: You go all over the state of Illinois to talk to people about adopting ducks?

"Yes, we try to get people to adopt ducks in Chicago," Mallory said.

FOX 32: Why is it important to adopt the ducks every year?

“Because you can win a free car and a vacation," she added.

So with a car and a vacation on the line, the tension mounted as the ducks neared the finish, funneled down to a single file line until a champion was crowned.

And over just 15 minutes after the ducks hit the water, there was an unconfirmed new record! 

Thursday’s derby raised over $350 thousand dollars for Special Olympics Illinois.

In ten years, the event has raised over $2 million dollars, and it's one of the largest Duck Derby’s in the country. 

FOX 32 can't release her name just yet, but a long term supporter of Special Olympics won the car.

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