TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Twelve thousand rubber duckies raced down the Wabash River Wednesday.
The yellow toy birds dodged their comrades to stay afloat long enough to reach the finish line for the first ever Wabash Valley Rubber Duck Regatta.
Julie Hart scooped up the lucky duck after it broke away from the others earning one person ten thousand dollars.
Hart, a Catholic Charities board member, says, "I was in the middle so I didn't want to rock the boat but yet I had the net to get that winner duck. It was so exciting!"
Back on land, organizers announced the prize winning bird.
Jane Hunt of Terre Haute got the news over the phone as she watched her grandkids. Hunt is a longtime supporter of Catholic Charities.
Catholic Charities organized the event as a way to bring in donations during a typically slow giving season.
Jennifer Buell with Catholic Charities says, "During the holidays people are thinking of their own blessings in their own lives and then how they can give back to help others so having an event in the middle of the summer really helps in terms of bringing in those donations at a time that normally is a little bit slower."
For the past several weeks people could buy rubber ducks for their chance to win big bucks. It was five dollars for a single duck or people could buy up to a flock of twenty-four ducks for a hundred dollars.
The money raised from the toy duck sales will benefit local families through food assistance, housing and educational programs.
The event raised an estimated thirty-nine thousand dollars.
Buell says, "We're very happy with the support of the community that we've received throughout and I know that next year's race is going to be bigger and better."