31st Annual Duck Race breaks records for the Center for Prevention of Abuse

Local News

EAST PEORIA, Ill. — Days before the 31st annual Duck Race for the Center for Prevention of Abuse, community support was helping the center break records.

The duck race sold out of ducks two days before the race. It’s also the center’s longest running fundraiser.

“We’re known for the duck race,” said Carol Merna, the CEO for the Center for Prevention of Abuse.

On Saturday afternoon, hundreds headed to the EastSide Center, to witness a sea of yellow race down a slip and slide. They also enjoyed music, food trucks, and entertainment.

But the main event was the race, and in a matter of moments, 30,000 rubber ducks made their way down the water slide.

“You hear about it, but till you see it, you don’t realize just the impression it make, all of the ducks,” said Rita Rowley, a volunteer.

But only one lucky duck would become the grand prize winner.

In its 31st year, the duck race reached new heights.

“It’s our earliest sell out ever,” said Merna.

The ducks sold out two days before the raise, helping the center raise $211,000.

“It’s just heartwarming to know that so many people want to be sure their friends and their neighbors and their colleagues are able to find peace,” said Merna.

The fundraiser supports the programs and services the center offers.

“There’s always somebody there to help you. And that’s what’s, you know, I think a really wonderful thing,” said Rowley.

All of the money will stay local, helping people right here in central Illinois.

“Many people in our community have either been impacted themselves, or know somebody closely who’s been impacted,” Karla Losey, a senior vice president at Associated Bank, a sponsor of the event and the grand prize.

The center serves more than 6,000 people annually, and reaches even more through their education programs.

“The center helps so many people,” said Losey.

Organizers say the turnout and support of this year’s race, has many excited for next year.

“It empowered us, just to be really excited for next year, when we do this again for our 32nd year,” said Merna.

The full list of winners is below. Winners can call CFPA at 309-691-0551 to claim their prize.

  • Grand Prize $10,000 sponsored by Associated Bank – Donna Vogel of Tremont, Ill.
  • $5,000 sponsored by Bob Lindsay Honda and Bob Lindsay Acura – Martha Diebold of Mackinaw, Ill.
  • $2,500 Sherman’s Gift Card – Susan Varnes of Biloxi, Miss.
  • Microsoft Surface and Keyboard sponsored by Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, Menold Construction and Restoration, and Getz Fire Equipment – James Cota of Dunlap, Ill.
  • Family Pack of Disney Tickets and $250 Visa Gift Card sponsored by Hanson Professional Services Inc. – Marlene Peterson of Dunlap, Ill.
  • $500 Jones Bro. Jewelers Gift Card – Lynne Stewart of Hanna City, Ill.
  • Espresso Machine sponsored by Farnsworth Group and Pure Bliss Hair Study and Day Spa – John Dean
  • 58” Roku Smart TV sponsored by Mike Murphy Ford and West Central Illinois Building Trades Council – Amy O’Brien of Johnston, Iowa
  • Date Night Bundle (overnight stay for two at Stoney Creek Hotel, two tickets to Peoria Players Theatre, $50 Two25 Gift Card) – Samantha Lafary of Hanna City, Ill.
  • $300 Kroger Gift Card – Charlotte Cronin of Peoria, Ill.
  • Nintendo Switch sponsored by Ray Dennison Chevrolet – Paula Clark of Pekin, Ill.
  • Gemstone Necklace sponsored by Nature Haven – JoAnne Smagacz of Wheaton, Ill.
  • Apple Watch Series 3 sponsored by Kriegsman Warehouses – Rex Walden of Dunlap, Ill.
  • Holiday Inn Express Bundle – Robin Boswell of Peoria, Ill.
  • $250 JC Penney Gift Card – Randy and Nancy Lienhart of Green Valley, Ill.
  • Tundra 45 Yeti Cooler sponsored by C.T. Gabbert Remodeling and Construction – Jessie Lascelles of Saint David, Ill.
  • $200 Summer Savings Bundle ($100 Casey’s Gift Card, $50 Red Carpet Car Wash Gift Card, Beachler’s Oil Change Certificate) – Debra Newton of Chillicothe, Ill.
  • Peoria Salt Cave Package – Mike Sheader of Dunlap, Ill.
  • Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Package – Patti Polk of Peoria, Ill.
  • Panera Bread for a Year – Mike Keough of Morton, Ill.
  • “There’s More to Explore” Peoria Park District Package – Gene Lyons of East Peoria, Ill.
  • $100 Jeffrey Alans Gift Card – Becky Frakes of Peoria, Ill.
  • $100 Curvology Gift Card– Jessie McMeen of Bartonville, Ill.
  • Art Experiences in Peoria sponsored by Canvas Connections and Fired Up – Norma J Just of Peoria, Ill.
  • Presleys Outdoors Fishing Package – Kimberly Lister of East Peoria, Ill.
  • Gone in 60 Escape Game Package – Sam Schonert of Washington, Ill.
  • Gone Axe Throwing Package – Jeanann McCoy of Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Ring Doorbell Security Camera sponsored by American Pest Control, Inc. – Jackie Fouts of Canton, Ill.
  • CxT Roasting Company Basket – Corinne Jones of Peoria, Ill.
  • Massage Envy Gift Card – Lisa Ullenius of Peoria, Ill.
  • Gold’s Gym Two-Month Membership – Roger Cunningham of Peoria, Ill.

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