Great Rubber Duck Race to return to Charleston after 16 years

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After a 16 year hiatus, the Great Rubber Duck Race is returning to Charleston.

United Way of Central West Virginia will host the race Sept. 4 as a way to raise money for the nearly 67,000 people they serve annually. President Margaret O’Neal said it’s $5 dollars to adopt a duck.

“It’s affordable for most and it’s easy to do,” O’Neal said during a launch event Thursday.

Those who participate could win a big prize.

“The first duck to cross the finish line, that person will win $4,000 in cash. Second place will be $1,000. Third place will be $500,” O’Neal said.

West Virginia American Water Company is the main sponsor. President Rob Burton said the goal is to collect 5,000 ducks and dump them from the South Side Bridge on to the Kanawha River. As of Thursday, 2,500 hundred duck have been adopted.

Burton said the event also gives the community a chance to take advantage of the river.

“It’s all about protection of source water, rivers, streams both for potential drinking water and for waste water that has to go there,” he said.

The COVID-10 pandemic has posed some challenges with supporting community organizations in person, Burton said.

“We continued a lot of that, but it’s just been more difficult in virtual settings, so we’re really excited to get back to events like this one,” he said.

United Way serves people in Kanawha, Putnam, Boone, Clay and Logan counties for education, health, finances and referral programs.

A flock of 25 ducks is $100. All proceeds will benefit United Way services.

To adopt a duck, visit unitedwaycwv.org or text DUCK to 313131.





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