Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 --- 6:40pm
It's been two years since Joan and Daren Duffey lost her son, Eric.
Eric was a student at UW Stevens Point. It was his 21st birthday. He had a few drinks, then left the bar alone. He was found dead several days later in an icy Wisconsin river. Not paying attention, Eric slipped through the ice and, with no one around to help, he died.
"After Eric's death, my husband and I were keenly aware of how many college students perish after going out for the evening and walking home alone” Joan tells NBC 15.
Joan and Daren want to ensure this tragedy never happens again. So they founded the "Bring a Buddy” program.
"Since Eric's death there have been 23 other boys who have died this exact same way in the state of Wisconsin, half of them were college students” says Joan.
Through the program, the couple passes out rubber bracelets to UW Stevens Point students.The bracelets have the "Bring a Buddy” logo on them and a phone number for a safe ride home on them.
The couple also created coasters, with the same information, which are placed in bars near campus.
But perhaps the sweetest item created is the Eric Duffey Memorial Cupcake. The St. Patrick's Day themed cupcake will be on sale from March 17-23 at Gigi's Cupcakes in the Hilldale Shopping Center. It's mint chocolate with mint frosting. Each cupcake is $3.25. A portion of the proceeds go toward the "Bring a Buddy” program to continue making more bracelets, coasters and shirts for program volunteers to wear.
For directions and hours of operation for Gigi's Cupcakes in Madison head to: http://www.gigiscupcakesusa.com/madisonwisconsin