Cannoli donut craze has big impact on Hospice Buffalo: ‘It was insane’

Local News

The cannoli donut craze that hit WNY is having a huge impact on a local foundation. Half the proceeds from the Paula’s Donuts promotion are going to Hospice Buffalo, and the organization is ecstatic with the massive support. 

“It was insane… insane,” Patrick Flynn said, the president of the Hospice Foundation of WNY. 

Although the numbers aren’t in yet for how much was raised from the donut sales, the president of the Hospice Foundation of WNY tells News 4, they tripled their bouquet sales at the Paula’s Donuts locations, from last year. In five days, they raised $10,000 at the three donut locations, from selling the bouquets. 

From Wednesday through Sunday at all three Paula’s Donuts locations, the coveted cannoli donut stole the hearts of thousands of people. Some people waited in lines that lasted up to two hours, and every day of the sale, the donuts sold out. 

The donut was unveiled for the Hospice Buffalo Spring bouquet sale. It was the third year Paula’s supported Hospice Buffalo and created a new flavor for people to try, during that sale. 

“We had the cherry bloom donut, and that I think was pretty popular, and then last year they did the oreo donut,” Katie Pirro said, the special events manager for the Hospice Foundation of WNY. 

But this was the first year they’ve seen crowds like this. And employees of Hospice Buffalo said can’t thank Western New Yorkers enough. The organization helps around 950 patients a day, and this bouquet sale is their biggest fundraiser, which helps them give specialized care to those in our community. 

“It allows us to do some extraordinary things that most Hospice programs can’t do,” Flynn said. “We have a very robust expressive therapies program, music, massage, and art therapy. We have a research institute here, we have 10 physicians on staff and nurse practitioners.”

Flynn and Pirro said they’re expecting more than $400,000 from bouquet sales all across WNY. Again, they made $10,000 at just the three Paula’s Donuts locations. 

Everyone at Hospice is extremely thankful for the hard-working staff at Paula’s. 

If you missed the cannoli craze, Paula’s did announce they will start selling the donuts in the future. You should expect those to hit shelves sometime after Easter. 

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