To volunteer for this event click here:
Admin Sign In
Stay tuned for news about the 2020 Ducky Derby Dash planned for October 4, 2020!

Special thanks to our sponsor Walker's Bluff for hosting this event!
Special thanks to our sponsor SIU Credit Union for supporting this event!

What is the Southern Ducky Derby Dash? The Southern Ducky Derby Dash is a signature annual fundraiser benefiting 23,000 athletes and over 13,000 Young Athletes for Special Olympics Illinois! Usually, thousands of spectators watch 10,000 yellow rubber ducks splash into a lake at the Du quoin State Fair and race down the course towards the finish line, in person. This year we will not be congregating at the drop site, but will be drawing through a virtual race. Good news though, everyone can still enjoy the festival we will hold where we will announce the winners of the virtual race. Festival will be held at Walker's Bluff which is one of Southern Illinois' premier dining and entertainment venues.

How do I adopt a duck? Adopt a duck for only $5 online by clicking here or form a Ducky Derby Sales Team! Get more chances to win by purchasing a Quack Pack (6 ducks for $25), Flock of Ducks (24 ducks for $100), Derby Donor (60 ducks for $250), Derby 500 package (120 ducks for $500) or Diamond Duck Pack (240 ducks for $1,000)!

What if my duck wins? The first place winner of the race will win $2,000 cold hard cash! But the runner up ducks will also win prizes and more are being added daily. 2nd and 3rd prizes are a 1 bedroom cabin for two nights and 3 days of golf for a couple, from Keller’s Crossing at Stone Creek. 4th place will be 2 Disney World passes. More bonus prizes are being added to the 4 prize packs daily including local dining gift certificates and other surprises.

How do I get involved? Sales teams are forming now. Put together a group of friends, colleagues, or family members to join the fun. Teams compete for bragging rights and great prizes. To form a Sales Team click here. For more information on starting a team or to volunteer, contact Kim Talley at or (618) 457-2969.

We will have details of the festival and other announcements on social media through Facebook and Twitter The first place winner of the race will win $2,000 cold hard cash! But the runner up ducks will also win prizes and more are being added daily.

2020 Southern Ducky Derby Dash Ambassador: Valerie Densler

Platinum Sponsor

Valerie Densler- Our 2020 Ducky Derby Dash Ambassador!

My name is Valerie Densler and I have been a participant in Special Olympics since 2017. I am a member of the Lightening Bugs/ Bolts and I have been a member since I became a Special Olympic athlete in 2017. I became an athlete because I love to play sports and be active. I am also outgoing and very friendly, and try to get to know everyone I meet.

I love that since I am a Special Olympic athlete, I get the opportunity to meet various people from different areas and cultures, including fellow athletes that I wouldn’t get to meet and begin friendships otherwise. I think it is awesome that we as athletes, get to pick which team we want to represent and be a part of. I love being a part of the Plane Pull and Polar Plunge with members of my team and the community in which we represent.

My favorite part of being a Special Olympic athlete is that winning is not the most important aspect but also having good sportsmanship, having fun, and encouraging others is included. I enjoy being able to compete for medals and sharing the joy of winning with my teammates and congratulating the winners. I think it is really cool how our competitions and games let us travel to different parts of Illinois. I like how we have an opening and closing ceremony just like the summer and winter Olympic Games do. I'm a huge fan of the summer and winter Olympic Games so being a member of this community is awesome. One thing that I love to do besides play in the different sports is attend the Victory Dance at the summer and winter games in the Special Olympics.

The sports that I have participated in are: basketball, bocce, bowling, flag football, powerlifting, snow shoeing, softball, swimming and track and field (50m dash, 100m walk, and shot-put).I get to do a lot of cool and fun things being a Special Olympic athlete but one of my favorite activities that I have done has been the Southern Illinois Ducky Derby. I get to be outgoing and promote my team while also raising money for it. I like that I get to go to different places to sell merchandise such as the ducks, and meet new people and then see everyone at the race. While at the race, I enjoy spending time with my friends, fellow team members, and other athletes that I compete with. It is a lot of fun and a great activity to promote Special Olympics in my community.

Certified Duck Retail locations: