CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thousands of rubber duckies were released at the US National Whitewater Center Sunday afternoon for the annual Kindermourn Hope Floats duck race.

The duck race down the rapids raises money for a Charlotte-based organization called KinderMourn, which provides hope for parents and families dealing with the loss of a child.

There were 21,000 ducks dropped in the river with close to 20,000 people cheering them on! The Hope Floats duck race raised $135,000.

They help grieving parents, children and teens by offering support and counseling programs, creating awareness of bereavement issues and empowering the community to effectively assist those who have suffered an unthinkable loss.

"Each duck represents hope. We have families that form teams in memory of their lost loved ones and for them to see those ducks in the water, it's a sign that the community supports them, and it's a sign of hope," Penny Hawkins, Director of Development at KinderMourn said.