Rubber ducks head the bill at yearly regatta

September 5, 2013 by  

The Ohio River turned solid yellow on Sunday, September 1, when nearly a quarter of a million rubber ducks were entered into the 19th Annual Rubber Duck Regatta.

At 3:00 pm on the day, approximately 200,000 of the colorful toys were dumped into the Ohio from the Purple People Bridge, while thousands of Cincinnati residents and visitors watched, hoping their duck would be the prize winner.

The annual regatta is a fundraising event for the Freestore Foodbank, and has been both popular and successful. In the 19 years since it began, the event has raised approximately $7.7m, which is used to help feed the hungry, especially children, in the area. This year, the event raised about $875,000. The ducks were priced at $5 for one, or six for $25, and every $5 duck purchased raised the equivalent of 15 meals for children.

There were prizes for those who bought the ducks, and this year the winner was Velma Slayback of Burlington, who drove away with a new 2013 Honda Civic. The second place winner, Jay Sulee, won a $5,200 prize from Kroger, which is the equivalent of $100 per week to spend on groceries. Five other winners received $500 each.

The day ended with a fireworks display as part of P&G Riverfest, another annual event that Cincinnati residents enjoy.

Although the Rubber Duck Regatta is obviously popular, event organizers could work with brochure printers to create a mailer for area residents describing the Freestore Foodbank’s mission and programs, and outlining the extent of the problem of hunger in the area. The brochure could increase interest in the event so that even more people take part next year.