Rubber Duck Regatta this weekend is first without its founder - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Rubber Duck Regatta this weekend is first without its founder

(Source: Ben Katko, FOX19 NOW) (Source: Ben Katko, FOX19 NOW)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

This weekend, thousands of rubber ducks will hit the water downtown for a great cause. It’s all for the 21st annual Rubber Duck Regatta.

But, it’s also the first time the event will be without its founder, Bob Edwards, who died late last year.

"The Rubber Duck Regatta is our major fundraiser for hungry families in our community,” said Kurt Reiber, Freestore Foodbank President and CEO.

This weekend, more than 150,000 rubber ducks will plunge into the Ohio River.  Each one of them will help work toward a goal of providing tens of thousands of meals to hungry kids and their families.  Each duck also means just a little more this year.

"We miss Bob.  We think about him every day,” Reiber said.

Edwards founded the Rubber Duck Regatta more than 20 years ago.

This is the first year without him in the event's existence after dying last year during an incident on Interstate 71.

"He was somebody that would let everyone else take the kudos, and what he wanted to do was make sure that we were feeding the children and making a difference in our community,” Reiber said.

Each and every one of the ducks passing through the hands of volunteers is a reminder of that. 

On Wednesday, volunteers spent hours tagging ducks with individual numbers at the Freestore Foodbank Mayerson distribution center in Bond Hill.  If a duck is pulled with your number, you could win a cash, a car and more.

When Edwards started the Rubber Duck Regatta 20 years ago, Reiber said 18,000 ducks were sold.  The goal this year is nearly ten times that as the plan is to eclipse 165,000 ducks.

"If everybody did half of what Bob Edwards did to feed the children of our community, we wouldn't have a problem.  Cincinnati would not be second in childhood poverty,” Reiber said.

You can still get a duck for a few more days.  If you need more information on how to get yours, click here.

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