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Duck Donuts® Kick Offs Inaugural Franchise-Wide Campaign to Support Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program

During the Month of September, Customers Can Purchase a $1 Paper Ribbon Icon to Support Their Local Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program Affiliated Pediatric Oncology Group

Beginning today, Duck Donuts team members are raising money for Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, a unique nonprofit organization which provides a comprehensive educational program supporting children and families living with cancer.

The program includes a 12-inch, soft Chemo Duck used for medical play therapy; a bilingual companion overview book; printable activity book; as well as an educational DVD that includes a cartoon about the program. The money raised in each store will benefit their local Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program affiliated children’s hospital oncology group.

“September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, which makes it the perfect time to launch our first franchise-wide Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program campaign,” said Russ DiGilio, founder and CEO of Duck Donuts Franchising Company. “This allows us to not only raise awareness for an incredible organization, but to rally support for kids who are going through a difficult time, while aligning with our company’s mission of giving back to the communities we serve.”

Running through September 30, Duck Donuts team members and customers can help provide huggable hope to children undergoing cancer treatment by purchasing a $1 paper Ribbon Icon, which will be proudly displayed in stores throughout the campaign. To show appreciation, supporters will receive a “Buy One, Get One Free Donut” coupon offer. In addition to the icons, customers can also support the campaign by purchasing a pediatric cancer awareness rubber duck, where $1 of the proceeds will benefit the organization.

“My son, the inspiration behind Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, and I could not be more proud of our growing partnership with Duck Donuts,” said Lu Sipos, founder and CEO of Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program. “There is truly no sweeter way to offer huggable hope to children living with cancer and we look forward to having a successful campaign this September!”


Duck Donuts was founded in 2006 by Russ DiGilio in Duck, North Carolina. His intention? To solve a family vacation problem: “Our family wanted a place to buy warm, delicious, made-to-order donuts, and when we couldn’t find one, we decided to start our own.”

By 2011, Duck Donuts had expanded to four Outer Banks locations and the donut business was so successful that DiGilio was continuously approached about franchise opportunities and by fans who begged for a Duck Donuts in their communities. The first franchise opened in Williamsburg, VA, in 2013, and there are now 49 open franchise stores and more than 120 upcoming locations.


Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program is a Nashville-based nonprofit organization established in 2004 to provide education and comfort to children living with cancer through medical play using therapeutic tools. The goal of the program is to enable hospital staff and parents to prepare children for chemotherapy treatment and eliminate the fear of the unknown.

Chemo Duck is a stuffed yellow duck dressed in blue hospital scrubs with a bandana around its head, a chemotherapy port on its chest and an immobilizer on his arm. In a gentle, age-appropriate manner, children learn what to expect during cancer treatment and have a friend to share the experience. In turn, children can use Chemo Duck to help friends, siblings and classmates to understand and empathize with their experience.