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Duck Derby Dash a smash success once again Special Olympics fundraiser draws hundreds to Du Quoin State Fairgrounds

  • Duck Derby Dash officials gather to remove the first-place duck from the lake at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds Sunday afternoon. The race was a fundraiser for Southern Illinois Special Olympics. Pictured are Ducky Derby Committee Member Nolan Carney, Region K Special Olympics Assistant Director Jackie Flechs, and Special Olympics athlete Steven Kovack. In the boat are Alan and Drake Kremer.

    Duck Derby Dash officials gather to remove the first-place duck from the lake at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds Sunday afternoon. The race was a fundraiser for Southern Illinois Special Olympics. Pictured are Ducky Derby Committee Member Nolan Carney, Region K Special Olympics Assistant Director Jackie Flechs, and Special Olympics athlete Steven Kovack. In the boat are Alan and Drake Kremer.
    Jon Montgomery photos

  • Here is a side view of the duck race with volunteers helping push the ducks along with an occasional spray of water.

    Here is a side view of the duck race with volunteers helping push the ducks along with an occasional spray of water.
    Jon Montgomery photo

  • The 2019 Duck Ambassador Jacob Dobson of Saline County.

    The 2019 Duck Ambassador Jacob Dobson of Saline County.

  • Top: With an assist from Master of Ceremonies Keenan Rice, John Henley and Brenna Asbury lead the Special Olympics Athlete Oath.Bottom: Du Quoin State Fair Manager Josh Gross addresses the crowd at the annual Southern Illinois Special Olympics Duck Derby Dash Sunday. State Rep. Terri Bryant is also pictured.

    Top: With an assist from Master of Ceremonies Keenan Rice, John Henley and Brenna Asbury lead the Special Olympics Athlete Oath.Bottom: Du Quoin State Fair Manager Josh Gross addresses the crowd at the annual Southern Illinois Special Olympics Duck Derby Dash Sunday. State Rep. Terri Bryant is also pictured.

  • With an assist from Master of Ceremonies Keenan Rice, John Henley and Brenna Asbury lead the Special Olympics Athlete Oath.

    With an assist from Master of Ceremonies Keenan Rice, John Henley and Brenna Asbury lead the Special Olympics Athlete Oath.

  • Katrina Valliant sings the National Anthem to kick off Duck Derby Dash festivities Sunday. Master of Ceremonies Keenan Rice stands alongside.

    Katrina Valliant sings the National Anthem to kick off Duck Derby Dash festivities Sunday. Master of Ceremonies Keenan Rice stands alongside.

  • The Asbury Family is pictured from left: Caitlin Asbury, Nolan Carney, Maddux Carney, Nick Baskin, Lindsay Baskin, Amelia Baskin, McKinley Carver, Brenna Asbury, Emily Asbury, Alba Baskin, Jill Asbury, and Bill Asbury.

    The Asbury Family is pictured from left: Caitlin Asbury, Nolan Carney, Maddux Carney, Nick Baskin, Lindsay Baskin, Amelia Baskin, McKinley Carver, Brenna Asbury, Emily Asbury, Alba Baskin, Jill Asbury, and Bill Asbury.

  • Master of Ceremonies Keenan Rice introduces the Region K Event Sponsor Ruth Mathis & Bill Mathis Family of the Late Bill Mathis Sr.

    Master of Ceremonies Keenan Rice introduces the Region K Event Sponsor Ruth Mathis & Bill Mathis Family of the Late Bill Mathis Sr.

  • Here, Master of Ceremonies Keenan Rice introduces Country Financial representatives Rhiannon Storm, Paul Melzer, Ian Reinhart, and Steve Marek as they donated the grand prize this year and additional prizes totaling $3,000.

    Here, Master of Ceremonies Keenan Rice introduces Country Financial representatives Rhiannon Storm, Paul Melzer, Ian Reinhart, and Steve Marek as they donated the grand prize this year and additional prizes totaling $3,000.

  • Volunteers receiving plaques for all they have done for the Duck Derby Dash event are Carolyn Kowalik, Alan Kremer, and Drake Kremer.

    Volunteers receiving plaques for all they have done for the Duck Derby Dash event are Carolyn Kowalik, Alan Kremer, and Drake Kremer.

  • The ducks are on their way to the other side of the lake after all 10,000 were dumped Sunday afternon.

    The ducks are on their way to the other side of the lake after all 10,000 were dumped Sunday afternon.
    Jon Montgomery photo

  • The Duck Derby Dash reaches the midway point of the race Sunday with fans working themselves into a frenzy.

    The Duck Derby Dash reaches the midway point of the race Sunday with fans working themselves into a frenzy.
    Jon Montgomery photo

 
STAFF REPORT
updated: 9/4/2019 10:40 AM

DU QUOIN -- The Fifth Annual Southern Illinois Duck Derby Dash to benefit Special Olympics Illinois again drew several hundred spectators to the event Sunday at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds lake. Those in attendance were greeted by sunny skies and temperatures topping out in the mid 80s.

With 10,000 rubber ducks in the water, there could only be one winner and a handful of runners up. The name of the winner had not yet been released at press time. Approximately $50,000 was raised altogether for the Special Olympics. Several area athletes were in attendance, including Ambassador Jacob Dobson of Saline County,

In addition to the race, there was live music, face painting, games and an appearance by Splash Duck the mas

Country Financial Insurance provided $3,000 in grand prize money to the winners.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and over 17,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.

If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, volunteering or providing financial support to help make Special Olympics programs possible, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at www.soill.org. Follow Special Olympics Illinois on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.