26 May 2017

The Salvation Army celebrates 100 years of free doughnuts & doughnut “Lassies!”

A simple doughnut brings joy to soldiers during WWI

Battle Creek, Michigan-June 2, 2017-Majors Kevin & Christie Van Zee, Corps Officers with The Salvation Army in Battle Creek will personally deliver doughnuts to local veterans, policemen, firefighters, & EMS workers in honor of “National Donut Day.” The Van Zees will begin their delivery @ the VA in Battle Creek (Building 10) @ 8:00 am.

Sweetwater’s Donut Mill, Louie’s Donuts, & Tom’s Donuts will donate doughnuts in honor of this special occasion.

“We have always counted it a privilege to be able to serve the veterans, police and fire personnel. This is our small way of saying 'Thank You' for what they do,” said Major Kevin Van Zee.

Delivering doughnuts to homesick “doughboys”- In 1917, The Salvation Army lassies began handing out fresh doughnuts to homesick servicemen. The first dough was patted into shape by hand, and an ordinary wine bottle was used as a rolling pin. With no dough cutter, the lassies used a knife to cut the dough into strips and twist them in a ring-shape. The Salvation Army doughnut has symbolized a love for those in the armed forces. 100 years later the tradition continues.

The Salvation Army extends their gratitude to three local donut shops making this event possible. Louie’s Donut Shop, Tom’s Donuts, and Sweetwater’s Donut Mill.

“My husband’s father started Sweetwater’s Donut Mill 35 years ago. He was a big fan of charity organizations, The Salvation Army being one of them. He believed that we owe part of our success to the wonderful communities that we are part of. He felt very strongly about giving back. That is why we work with so many great organizations such as The Salvation Army every year in partnership,” Trish Garner, Sweetwater’s Donut Mill.

In addition to doughnuts during WWI, the lassies baked apple pies and other treats, supplied canteens in dugouts & huts, held religious services, concerts, and even provided a clothes-mending service.

The Salvation Army asks you to join them in thanking our men & women who serve our country and our communities for their endless bravery & selfless acts of kindness!