Rubber ducks wearing sunglasses have come to symbolize two things in the Greater Peoria region: a day of family fun and spreading awareness about abuse in the community. The Center for Prevention of Abuse will once again race thousands of rubber duckies at its 30th annual Duck Race on August 25th—a tradition that’s become the foundation of the Center’s efforts to raise funds and educate about the pervasive impact interpersonal violence and abuse has on everyone.
In 1988, one of the Center’s board members attended a duck racing event in Canada and recognized an opportunity for the Center to host an event unique to the Peoria area. The very first Duck Race took place the following year, and the community has since “adopted” more than 417,000 ducks and raised more than $2 million to support the Center’s services. For years, the race was held on the Peoria Riverfront, with thousands of ducks actually floating down the Illinois River. Now held at EastSide Centre in East Peoria, this year’s festivities include kids’ games and activities, food and music, and 30,000 ducks racing down a giant slip-n-slide, with prizes for the sponsors of the first 30 ducks to cross the finish line.
All proceeds go directly to free and confidential services, which include counseling and shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse and human trafficking, as well as prevention education that reaches nearly 30,000 students each year. Last year the Center assisted more than 5,000 men, women and children by providing 5,976 nights in shelter, 2,117 orders of protection, 16,476 hours of therapy and 264 medical advocacies—figures which demonstrate how crucial these services are to establishing a healthier, more peaceful community.
What’s in a Duck Donation?
- 1 duck ($5) = personal hygiene products for one person staying in the emergency shelter.
- 2 ducks ($10) = fresh produce for a week’s worth of healthy meals for a family in the emergency shelter.
- 4 ducks ($20) = a taxi to transport a survivor from a violent or abusive situation to an emergency shelter.
- 5 ducks ($25) = a gas card to help clients get to and from appointments with counselors.
- 10 ducks ($50) = to help survivors afford their monthly medications.
- 20 ducks ($100) = the cost of one hour-long classroom presentation on violence prevention education.
- 50 ducks ($250) = the cost of two hours of therapy for a child survivor of sexual abuse.
- 100 ducks ($500) = funding for an Adult Protective Services caseworker to investigate possible abuse in the home of an elderly individual. iBi