A Day at the (Duck) Derby


Duck Derby pic

Duck Derby
Image: duckrace.com

Ben Ripstein is the president of Midwest Motors, Inc., a company with consistently good reviews and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. A car enthusiast and active volunteer, Ben Ripstein has participated in several polar plunges to support the Illinois Special Olympics.

The Illinois Special Olympics hosts more than 179 games each year with 19 different sports offered, from alpine skiing to volleyball. Along with accepting donations from various outside sources, such as the polar plunge (a fundraising challenge where participants jump into a lake in the middle of winter to raise money for various charities), the Illinois Special Olympics also hosts events to support the games and the athletes. The annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby is a consistently popular option among volunteers.

The Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby is a yearly event taking place in the summer, where people are invited to “adopt” a rubber duck and race it down the Chicago River. Participants can adopt as many ducks as they like, and in fact the Illinois Special Olympics encourages them to do so, as all money raised goes toward funding the games and training for the athletes. The race also ends with the winners receiving some hefty prizes, all donated by various businesses. Past prizes have been cars, vacation vouchers, and VIP NASCAR tickets.


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