NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - Duck season will officially kick off on Thursday, July 19, with the 7th annual Celebrity Duck Auction, marking the beginning of the Freestore Foodbank's biggest fundraiser of the year.
The Celebrity Duck Auction goes from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and features live and silent auctions of giant rubber ducks decorated to resemble the celebrity signature they bear.
Celebrities who have signed ducks include Reds players Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey; NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick; Bengals players Andy Dalton and Andrew Whitworth; media personality Regis Philbin; singer Ke$ha; and Mike Love of the Beach Boys.
The auction kicks off the 18th Annual Rubber Duck Regatta, which takes place Sunday, September 2, during the P&G Riverfest and before the Cincinnati Bell/WEBN Fireworks.
During the Regatta, over 150,000 ducks will be dropped into the Ohio River to race along the Serpentine Wall with the owner of the first duck winning a 2012 Honda Civic LX Sedan.
"What started as an idea 18 years ago to raise money to feed our neighbors in need has grown to become one of the largest events in Cincinnati," said Rubber Duck Regatta Chairman Bob Edwards, who also founded the event. "The Freestore Foodbank's annual Rubber Duck Regatta is an opportunity for the local community to respond to the need of children and families facing hunger. By giving just $25 – the price of six ducks – someone can help the Freestore Foodbank feed a family of four for an entire week."
Individuals can buy ducks, which range from $5 a piece to $100 for a "Flock of Ducks", online at www.rubberduckregatta.org and by phone at (513) 929-DUCK (3825).
By the beginning of August, individuals can also buy ducks at all KEMBA Credit Union locations and at Kroger store checkouts. Brochures will also available at select Frisch's restaurants and local Cincinnati Bell business stores.
Ducks will be sold until Sept. 2.
Last year's Rubber Duck Regatta netted more than $700,000, the equivalent of 2.5 million meals for Greater Cincinnati's food insecure population.
Since its inception in 1995, the fundraiser has raised nearly $6 million to help end hunger in the Tri-State.