Frequently Asked Questions

Learn about our cause and how the duck race works.
Make a contribution:
Adopt a Duck Now!

Who does the Illinois Valley YMCA DuckY DerbY benefit?

All proceeds from the Illinois Valley YMCA DuckY DerbY will benefit the Illinois Valley YMCA Annual Campaign - Strong Kids.

How does it work?

Everyone who adopts a duck, whether online, in the mail, at a Duck Race booth or in a sponsoring business is entered into what we call E-Quack, a database that stores all of the information. Next to your name in E-Quack is the number of ducks you have adopted. The tag range is entered into E-Quack and all the numbers are shuffled up. Then, E-Quack automatically assigns the number of ducks you have adopted next to Tag Numbers. Thus, if you adopted 5 ducks, your name will be placed next to 5 different Tag Numbers.

How do my ducks get in the water?

Let’s Tag! A few days prior to the Illinois Valley YMCA DuckY DerbY, volunteers will place numbered tags on the bottom of every duck that will be in the Duck Race - which is 5,000! The tags are waterproof labels beginning with a 7-digit number and ending with a 7-digit number.

For Example: 8580001-8590000

What is my tag number?

Tag numbers are automatically and randomly assigned by computer. We want to make sure that no duck has an unfair advantage and the race is not fixed, so to ensure the integrity of the race, tag numbers are never given out. Rest assured, however, that all the ducks you have adopted will be in the water.

What if you have 4,000 Adopted Ducks but you have 5,000 Tagged Ducks on Duck Race Day?

If all our ducks have not been adopted by race day, it means that a lucky adopter can still adopt up to an hour prior to the race. Their names will be placed at random into the mix, next to a number that does not already have a name by it. Anyone can adopt until an hour before the race begins, as long as the race is not sold out.

When and where is the Illinois Valley YMCA DuckY DerbY and what does it cost?

The Illinois Valley YMCA DuckY DerbY will take place on November 7, 2021 at Illinois Valley YMCA Aquatic Center. A total of 5,000 will be launched down the water slide at approximately 1:00 pm. The first five ducks through the finish line will win some amazing prizes. Another five ducks will be plucked for additional prizes. This is a free event open to the public.

How will I know if my duck wins?

Illinois Valley YMCA will contact you using the information you provided with your duck adoption. You do not need to be present to win.

Are they real ducks or rubber ducks?

Rubber ducks, silly!

Who can adopt a duck?

Anyone! However, you must be at least 18 years old to adopt a duck.

Once I adopt a duck, do I get to keep it?

No. After you adopt your duck the Illinois Valley Duck Race team will work hard to train, coach, and make sure each one is ready for Duck Race day. After the race, all of the ducks will fly off to their next race somewhere in the US.

Do I need to be present to win?

No, the winner does not need to be present to win. We do hope you will join us for the festivities though!

Can I adopt ducks on race day?

If all our 5,000 have not been adopted as of November 7, 2021, the remaining ducks will be available for adoption on race day prior to the start of the race at an adoption booth set up during the Illinois Valley YMCA DuckY DerbY.

How do I contact someone at the Illinois Valley YMCA DuckY DerbY if I have questions that are not answered here?

Please contact us by emailing or calling (815) 223-7904