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Glancer Magazine

ADOPT A DUCK | #ChiDuckyDerby Returns to Chicago River for Special Olympics Illinois on August 5


On Thursday, August 5, at 1 p.m., 65,000 rubber ducks will splash into the Chicago River off the Columbus Bridge for the 2021 Chicago Ducky Derby to benefit Special Olympics.

Ducks are available for adoption for $5 online at and in person on race day beginning at 9 a.m. at 401 N. Michigan Avenue. Sales close prior to Splashdown at 12:30 p.m or until sold out. The Family Festival begins at 10 a.m. in Pioneer Plaza and features games, prizes, and Ducky Derby mascot Splash as well as a live performance by 90s Pop Nation, a Chicago-based band bringing all of the biggest pop hits, one-hit wonders, sing alongs and dance hits from the 90’s. 90’s Pop Nation is the side project to The Boy Band Night, and managed by The Bachelorette alum/future Bachelor in Paradise contestant Kenny Braasch.

In lieu of an in-person event, last year featured a two-hour Virtual Festival featuring performances from Lauren Alaina and The Struts. The event sold out and raised over $400,000 for Special Olympics Illinois. This year, Special Olympics Illinois aims to sell 65,000 rubber ducks.

This year, Special Olympics Illinois will also offer an abbreviated Chicago Ducky Derby Virtual Festival for those that can’t join in person. Viewers can enjoy live entertainment from special guests, athlete interviews, and more online via the Special Olympics Illinois Facebook Page, Twitch Channel and beginning at 12:00 p.m.

Special Olympics Illinois athlete, Mallory Taylor, will serve as the 2021 Duck Derby Ambassador appearing at the finish line to hold up the winning duck.

Taylor hails from Naperville, Illinois and has been competing as a Special Olympics Illinois athletes since she was eight years old. A graduate of Metea Valley High School, she is employed at Buffalo Wild Wings, and has won more than 75 gold, silver, and bronze medals in bocce, softball, track and field, golf, basketball, volleyball, soccer, floor hockey and speed skating. In addition to physical fitness, Mallory has gained confidence, language skills, and social skills from her Special Olympics experience.

Mallory is a dynamic and ambitious young woman with an electric personality. You can see her and Splash in action here.

The grand prize is an all-new 2021 Chevy Trailblazer courtesy of the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevy Dealers. Other prizes include an Apple Vacations all-inclusive trip for two adults to RIU Palace Mexico in Riviera Maya, $2,000 cash prize and a Chicago Day Getaway package.

The success of the annual Ducky Derby depends on sales teams – both corporate teams and independent groups – who devote the summer to selling duck adoptions and spreading the word about the benefits of Special Olympics. Join the conversation using #ChiDuckyDerby on social media.

2021 Chicago Ducky Derby Sponsors:

  • Presenting Sponsor: Jewel-Osco

  • Platinum Sponsors: AJ Gallagher

  • Silver Sponsor: Sugar Factory

  • Bronze Sponsors: Dunkin’, GEICO

  • Event Sponsors: Chicago Office Movers, Wendella Boats

  • Prize Sponsors: Apple Vacations, Chicagoland and Northwestern Indiana Chevy Dealers, Hyatt Regency Chicago, The Signature Room

  • Media Sponsors: Fox 32 Chicago, iHeart Media, and The Chicago Sun-Times

ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS ILLINOIS: Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit sports organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,100 athletes with intellectual disabilities and over 13,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. It strives to be a global leader in shaping a culture where people with and without intellectual disabilities are fully integrated into the community by providing year round opportunities in competitive sports, health education, leadership and personal development. If you are interested in being a part of Special Olympics Illinois and its vision, contact your local region, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at Follow Special Olympics Illinois on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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