Duck Donuts unveils special doughnut to benefit A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital

If you want to feel good about a sweet treat, Duck Donuts has the perfect incentive.

In August, the chain’s Main Street location is bringing back its strawberry lemonade flavor and will donate $1 to Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Children’s Hospital for each strawberry lemonade doughnut sold.

Owner Robin Griffith said the promotion came from a discussion he had with A.I. officials about doing a special doughnut and getting the hospital’s child ambassador involved.

“We decided to do that. And we’re bringing back a doughnut – a special doughnut – that we’ve had a couple years ago but haven’t had recently,” Griffith said. “It’s a good fit for the summer.”

The doughnut will be on sale throughout August. The hope, Griffith said, is that customers buy a half-dozen or a dozen and share with friends, family and co-workers while also supporting the cause.

“We hope to generate lots of folks coming in, buying that doughnut, so that we can in turn present a big check in September,” he added.

This is the store’s third year supporting the children’s hospital, Griffith explained. Duck Donuts uses the business to give back on a monthly basis through its Quack Gives Back initiative in which it identifies a worthwhile cause and donate proceeds.

Among those causes, “this is one of the ones on the top of the list that’s very special for us,” Griffith said.

“Our staff is excited about this. They’re always totally behind it…We all, everybody that I can look at in this room has had, in some way, in some shape or form, somebody that went to A.I. Children’s Hospital,” he continued. “It rings real close to all of our hearts.”

On Thursday, they were preparing the doughnuts for a special occasion: Ronan Farrell, the hospital’s child ambassador, was stopping by the taste the doughnut with his name on it. Griffith and the staff met the Farrell family, and Ronan tried the treat named for him.

Ronan, 14, was struck in the back of the head by a stray bocce ball two years ago while at the beach in New Jersey. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, cardiac attack and an aneurysm, and was placed on life support. After he was transferred to A.I. from the Cooper Hospital in Camden, N.J., doctors told his parents that he might be brain dead.

But Ronan pulled through. Two years later, Ronan is still recovering – though doing tremendously, his family said – and he’s working with the hospital to raise funds to care for children in similar circumstances.

“He’s my hero,” his mother, Meghan, said.

“His story is compelling,” his father, Keith, added. “He was one of the first kids ever to survive this type of injury, globally.”

Keith spoke highly of the hospital, referring to those who transported him there as “angels in blue,” and was thankful that they care for the whole family after their children suffer trauma.

“[Trauma] changes your life. For us, it’s about paying it forward because you never expect a traumatic brain injury,” he said.

The family is from Furlong, Pa., but comes down to Delaware because of how much the hospital means to them, Keith said.

And Delaware is returning the love – in addition to a doughnut of his namesake, Ronan also has a cheesecake flavor named in his honor.

“He has desserts all over Delaware,” Meghan said.

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