Sixty thousand yellow rubber ducks made a splash in Chicago after the Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby waddled into town on Thursday.
The annual fundraising event was held in support of Special Olympics Illinois and saw the ducks poured into the Chicago River from the Columbus Drive Bridge before they raced down river towards the finish line, USA Today reported.
More than a million saw it happen on Facebook:
According to event organizers, the aim of the campaign is to get businesses and individuals to 'adopt’ a rubber duck, with proceeds going towards benefiting over 22,000 athletes and more than 20,000 young athletes across Illinois.
The event, which has become a calendar highlight to many, contributes over $300,000 to Special Olympics Illinois and has grown to become a resounding success.
Adding weight to the campaign, Chicago Cubs star catcher, Willson Contreras, signed on as a celebrity ambassador to show his support to the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.
He spent time with athlete and 2017 Duck Derby Ambassador, Jose F Moreno Jr. campaigning to get the public involved.
While Contreras was the ‘celebrity’ at the event, it was Moreno who stole the hearts of the public.
Having started his athletic career in 2009, when he began competing in basketball, Moreno has gone on to succeed in a number of sports including floor hockey, golf, bocce, softball, volleyball, and bowling.
He has served as a Global Messenger for Special Olympics Illinois since 2011 and, according to Special Olympics Illinois, also volunteers his time at fundraising events.
The Special Olympics Illinois was established to provide training and competition in sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
According to the organization, they also offers other programs such as motor activities training program, a young athletes program for children and an athlete leadership program
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