FUQUAY-VARINA, NC (WTVD) – A caravan of jeeps crosses North Carolina this weekend, along with a yellow stuffed duck and many rubber ducks. Organizers say it started as a nationwide wellness moment called Duck Duck Jeep.

“Someone was going back and forth and just started handing out ducks to people as a way to be kind and bring smiles to people during that time,” said Jamie Morris. “We picked it up here in Fuquay and started our own Duck Duck Jeep group! “

Participants approach foreigners who also have Jeeps.

“It’s a duck, and if you’re reading this, it’s from a friend of mine who’s here,” said Ellie Szabados.

“And a lady from Illinois decided to take it to another level,” said Carol Ann Matthews, explaining the connection between the stuffed duck and Duck Duck Jeep. “She’s very involved with families who have lost children to cancer. So she had the idea to get Mr. Vanderquack and send him to all 50 states to raise money for hospitals in St. Jude.”

Vanderquack is the name of the stuffed duck, and it’s used on social media to aid the St. Jude’s mission. The charity connects young cancer patients with vital treatment provided by specialist doctors located miles from their homes.

“Ellie has pilocytic astrocytoma, which is cancer of the brain. She wasn’t supposed to see 10 years old. She’s now 15. So she looked the beast in the face and told the beast to go away. , because she’s not going anywhere! They do so much for the kids across the country and as parents we never pay a dime! We don’t pay for transportation there, they pay for parents’ accommodation, as a mother, I stayed with her the whole time, ”explained mother Stéphanie Szabados.

As the face of fundraising, Mr. Vanderquack is all over social media with groups of “Jeepers” documenting his travels. The Duck Jeep Escort continues its trek through North Carolina towns this weekend.

“We’ll take all the Jeeps, get in a convoy and go to Garner. We’ll take him from there to Raleigh and he’ll head from there to South Carolina,” Matthews said.

Go to Fuquay-Varina Duck Duck Jeep on Facebook for more information on Mr. Vanderquack and fundraising.

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