TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Several years ago, Jennifer Buell contacted one of Catholic Charities sister organizations for an idea on how to involve the community in a fundraiser.

“We spent some time, chatted with our friends over at the Freestore Foodbank [in Cincinnati,] and decided, ‘yeah we can do something similar in Terre Haute.’ We have the river, the rubber duck regatta would be something new and unique in our community, and it would be a lot of fun,” she said.

Now, the Wabash Valley rubber duck regatta has become the biggest fundraiser for the organization, and they have already begun preparing for the July 4th event.

Catholic Charities has 15,000 rubber ducks that volunteers are currently cleaning and tagging with stickers. They hosted a rubber duck tagging party on Wednesday for volunteers to help out.

Earlier Wednesday, Elizabeth Davis and several students helped tag ducks on behalf of the St. Joseph’s University Youth Ministry. She said the experience was a rewarding one.

“[It gave me] a sense of accomplishment of being able to say, ‘Hey, I helped put those numbers on that duck last week or whatever. I think it gives you a part to feel a sense of that community, a part of that organization, and hopefully students have that excitement too,” Davis said.

People can “adopt-a-duck.” for five dollars, or do several bundle deals the organization offers. The money raised will go to Catholic Charities, and whoever adopts the winning duck will receive a $10,000 prize.

Buell said their goal for this is $60,000. She said the most rewarding part comes months down the road, when she sees how the money helps the community.

“Seeing our programs in action, seeing the individuals and families we’re able to help throughout the year is what it’s really all about,” she said.

“Knowing that we have families, for example, who have stayed and been sheltered at Bethany House Emergency Shelter, who, after a few weeks, or maybe it’s a few months, have been able to get out on their own again in their own home, or their own apartment, makes it all worthwhile.”

More information can be found on the Wabash Valley rubber duck regatta website.