An annual competition and fundraiser for an organization that supports men, women, and children in need is back in Peoria.
You can now buy a rubber duck to send down the Illinois River for this year's Duck Race. The event, in its 26th year, is a major money-maker for the Center for Prevention of Abuse, which needs to fill gaps created by continual drops in federal and state funding.
Executive director Martha Herm says every dollar raised goes towards helping some 5,000 people affected by abuse. The event also provides funding for the Center's school-based education programs, which impacts some 20,000 children.
"Talking about how to keep their bodies safe, how to make good decisions, how to build healthy relationships, and how to make good choices," said Herm.
While the money is important, the Duck Race is also key in raising awareness about the services offered by the Center.
"It's amazing when new people are brought to the shelter, for example, by the police or by the hospitals. They all say, 'I didn't know you were here,'" Herm said.
There are prizes to be won in the event as well, ranging from gift cards to a grand prize of $5,000.
Last year, the Center sold 25,000 ducks. This time around, Herm hopes 30,000 can be sold before the Duck Race on August 23. You can buy a duck at various businesses around town or online.