HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Salvation Army is holding a donut eating contest June 4 in Hutchinson. Donuts are a Salvation Army tradition.
"During World War I, the Salvation Army sent ladies over to serve comfort food like cakes and pies," said Major Paul James with the Salvation Army in Hutchinson. "They didn't have all the resources, as you can imagine. Sometimes you have a good plan, but the resources aren't always there. They got creative, and they figured they could make donuts. They made it in the helmets of the servicemen that were over there and they got termed the nickname, donut lassie and the men that were serving during World War I and World War II came back, and they were called doughboys."
The event is a fundraiser for Salvation Army camps and for international work of the Salvation Army.
"The kids that we send to camp each year are from ages 7 to 17," James said. "We send kids to camp at a regional camp in Kansas City. $10 is what we charge for each child for an overnight camp for a week. Those camps go from sports camps to music camp to character building camp, to like roughing it camp, so there's a range of that and a couple different opportunities for that. If you have questions on how to get your kid involved, we just had somebody new that hasn't gone to camp just signed up their teenager. There's a teen camp specifically for that age group. You can call our main office at (620) 663-3353. If you talk to Karen, she's our receptionist, she can get you set up with a code to get that discount."
The event itself will happen at the Salvation Army Thrift Store that Saturday morning at 10 a.m. and they're still looking for competitors, as well as folks to come down and watch.
"I'm competing as well," James said. "It's my desire to win. My record is five and a half donuts in five minutes, and they weren't very good donuts. I want to thank Daylight Donuts for their generosity in helping us to have some donuts for this event. We'll be giving out donuts, as well as coffee, during that morning, so if you come out and you want to be a spectator, you won't leave empty handed, either. We hope to have a good crowd out there. There's three ways to win, eating the most donuts, the people's choice award, which is through online donations, or raising the most dough. Those who can't or don't know how, you can donate with cash or check to one of those individuals that's competing."
There will be little red kettles in front of each competitor that morning at the Salvation Army Thrift Store at 200 South Main in Hutchinson.