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Salvation Army’s Donut Day Contest a Success, Brings in Almost $7k


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – In celebration of National Donut Day Friday, the Hutchinson Salvation Army held a donut eating contest at their Thrift Store at B and Main Friday Morning. The event raised $6,555.

By consuming 11 ¼ donuts in five minutes, Jared Heinen from Prairieland Partners won the contest, besting the 9 ¾ consumed by Hutchinson Mayor Jon Richardson. Heinen told Ad Astra News there was no special strategy in his winning effort. “Just enjoying every one of them, Heinen said.”

Micah James was the top online fundraiser collecting $854, while Kathy Ireland from Prairie Star Health Center collected the most donations during the event.

Half of the proceeds raised from the eating contest will be used to send Reno County Youth to the Salvation Army’s Three Trails Camp in the Kansas City area. This camping opportunity is at a very reasonable cost of $25 or $30 per camper, depending on the length of camp. The rest will be used to support the various programs the Salvation Army is involved with in some 130 countries.

The Salvation Army in Hutchinson has a long history with donuts, dating back to World War I, when mostly female volunteers went to Europe where Major Paul James said they served donuts and coffee to allied soldiers.

“Initially they were going to give out cakes, but they didn’t have all the supplies they needed to do that,” Major James explained. They realized they could make donuts though, and using soldier helmets that’s what they did along with serving coffee, helping the soldiers write home, and other things.

For Major James wife, Major DJ James, there is a personal connection to what came to be known as the Salvation Army Lassies. Her great-grandmother was one of those lassies, heading overseas as a teen to serve the soldiers wherever they were.

The Salvation Army donuts also would provide a nickname for our soldiers who went “Over There.” When they returned home from the war, the veterans of World War I would come to be known as doughboys, and they brought with them their love for donuts, spreading their popularity.