LIHUE — “You win,” said Steve Nezgoda of Arizona Friday.
He was chatting with The Salvation Army Lt. Elizabeth Gross, Melalynn Phillip, who was dressed as The Salvation Army Lassie, Melalynn’s sister who bashfully tried to hide behind a pillar, and Kyle Karioka of The Salvation Army’s Honolulu office.
“You win, you win, you win,” Nezgoda said, pointing to each of The Salvation Army representatives. “And, I win — it’s a four-fer! I heard about National Donut Day, but I live in the county and never got to enjoy it … oh, it’s a five-fer!”
Nezgoda was among the steady stream of people standing in line outside Daylight Donuts behind the Ace Hardware store in Lihue anxious to get their load of donuts on the way to work.
“I need to get a box for the upstairs agents and one for the downstairs ramp guys,” said Kanani Makekau of Alaska Airlines. “You have to take care of everybody.”
National Donut Day in Hawaii marks 100 years since the Donut Lassies first started the tradition on the front line in France during World War I. The tradition supports The Salvation Army and its work being done in communities throughout the world.
“We celebrate Donut Day in Virginia,” said Kristine Casal, who dropped a handful of change into the red kettle outside Daylight Donuts. “I never realized it supports and benefits The Salvation Army. I’m glad we stopped in because I learned something.”
Daylight Donuts and the Aloha Sweet Delites shops in Lihue and Kaumakani, respectively, offered free donuts while supplies lasted through a partnership with The Salvation Army — Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division. Additionally, Gross said she had donuts put aside so The Salvation Army thrift store could offer free donuts to its shoppers — while the supply lasted.
The Salvation Army thrift stores also offered shoppers a one-day, 25-percent discount on all items with the exception of furniture.
People purchasing additional donuts at Daylight Donuts in addition to the free ones being offered were told that a portion of proceeds from the additional sales would be turned over to benefit The Salvation Army. This supplemented the red kettles set up outside the shops where a lot of people dropped change on their way out with donuts in hand.
“I love doing Donut Day,” Gross said. “It demonstrates the long history of women in service because this is the 100th year since the Lassies started serving on the front lines, doing something that gave the soldiers something that tasted like home.”
The Salvation Army started National Donut Day as a way to raise funds as well as bring awareness to its social service programs. Observed on the first Friday of June, the event celebrates Donut Lassies who provided, in addition to donuts, writing supplies, stamps, clothes-mending and home-cooked meals to soldiers on the front lines.