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Duck Donuts® Kicks Off Second Annual Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program Campaign

During the Month of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, All Locations Will Raise Money to Provide Huggable Hope for Children Undergoing Cancer Treatment

Inaugural Campaign Raised $75,000, Providing Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program to More than 2,000 Families

Beginning September 1, Duck Donuts will kick off its second annual franchise-wide campaign raising money for Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, a unique Nashville nonprofit organization which provides education and comfort to families living with childhood cancer. Running through September 30, customers can help alleviate fear and anxiety in 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.

“Thanks to our dedicated team members and supportive customers, in 2017, our inaugural campaign, Duck Donuts raised $75,000, providing Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program to more than 2,000 families throughout 21 children’s oncology group member hospitals nearby the communities we serve,” said Russ DiGilio, founder and CEO of Duck Donuts Franchising Company. “Duck Donuts is proud to continue its relationship with Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program. We look forward to another successful campaign, and with additional locations open this year across the country, raising even more money for the brave children who are fighting 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 oncology group member hospitals.

“Duck Donuts is a wonderful partner in our efforts to raise awareness for Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program and the importance of providing comfort to families dealing with childhood cancer,” said Lu Sipos, founder and CEO of Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program. “We are humbled by the number of children we were able to help together last year and we could not be more excited to kick off the second annual campaign.”


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 by fans who begged for a Duck Donuts in their community. The first franchise opened in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2013, and there are now 70 open franchise locations and more than 140 additional contracts in 24 states and two countries.


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.