JOHNSON COUNTY (WSIL) -- A popular event to raise money for cancer patients in Johnson County is returning its ducks back to the pond.
The duck drop is the largest fundraising effort for the Heather Treat Memorial organization.The group helps cancer patients with expenses not covered by insurance like gas and hotels when going to treatments and bills from not being able to work.
However, the event was put on hold due to COVID-19 this year and almost canceled.
It originally started in 1994 as a full day of activities centered around thousands of ducks racing across a pond. But more recently, the event evolved into those ducks taking to the air and being dropped from a helicopter.
This year the ducks return to the pond for a race that will stream live on Facebook.
Organizer Robin Harper-Whitehead says the organization wants those who need its services to know the group is still there for them.
"I think it's going to roll right along, she says. "I think it will be good and let the cancer patients of Johnson County know that, we're still thinking of you and we're not giving up."
So far, there has been a decent amount of interest in the reimagined event.
"I think that some of those people that have not been able to come, that live far away, are pretty excited that they're going to be able to do it,"Harper-Whitehead adds. "We've been getting a lot of adoptions."
That Duck Race is set to stream live on May 31st at 4 p.m. You can adopt a duck or purchase a t-shirt here.
Overall, the organization has awarded more than $350,000 to cancer patients. It's named after Heather Harper-Treat who passed away from Colon Cancer that spread to her lungs and brain.