Veterans from across Southern California will be honored on June 4, National Donut Day, as local donut shops celebrate with The Salvation Army to commemorate the volunteers who served weary soldiers donuts on the front lines of World War I, the catalyst for making popular America's favorite sweet treat.

This year’s festivities at The Haven – The Salvation Army’s shelter serving more than 2,000 homeless or at-risk veterans annually in West Los Angeles – will pay tribute to those who have sacrificed much, as well as call attention to ongoing veterans’ social services. The Salvation Army’s important work at The Haven helps the men and women who have served our country so selflessly get their lives back on track.

“The homeless veterans living at The Haven show the same bravery in our program, as they did on the battlefield,” said Janice Tsao, The Haven executive director. “And what keeps that bravery alive and well, is love and support from the community.”

BakeMark, a leading manufacturer and distributor of bakery products and ingredients with deep roots in the Southland, joins The Salvation Army as a natural partner in this cause. BakeMark is sponsoring the festivities and making a $10,000 donation to help renovate The Haven’s high-volume kitchen, which serves three nutritious meals to 250 veterans daily. In addition, approximately 1,000 participating donut shops and bakeries using BakeMark products will display a National Donut Day poster in the window, reminding the public to honor our veterans. A list of participating shops will be posted on prior to the event.

"I can't think of a better way to celebrate National Donut Day – which has its roots in service to our veterans – than honor the men and women who have served our country," said Bill Day, President and CEO of BakeMark. “The Salvation Army has always been committed to helping our veterans and we at BakeMark are proud to support its programs."

To mark this occasion, The Haven – located at 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Building 212, at the Veteran Administration in West Los Angeles – will also be the site for a special thank you to all Southland veterans and military families. From 7:00 to 8:30 a.m., veterans and their families from across Southern California, along with the media, are invited to join Salvation Army representatives, as well as homeless veterans living at The Haven shelter, to celebrate National Donut Day with free donuts and coffee, while supplies last. The event will feature an honor guard, inspiring testimonials from previously homeless veterans, music courtesy of The Salvation Army Brass Band, and most importantly, the opportunity to say "thank you" to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

National Donut Day, which occurs annually the first Friday in June, was established in 1938 by The Salvation Army in Chicago as a depression-era outreach initiative and pays tribute to The Salvation Army women volunteers, called “Lassies,” who prepared donuts for thousands of homesick soldiers during World War I. Lassies resourcefully made donuts using on-hand ingredients such as leftover flour, as well as other handy tools, from wine bottles as rolling pins to soldiers’ steel helmets as frying pans. Beyond brightening the day of soldiers, the Lassies are credited with popularizing the donut in America. When the soldiers returned home from the war, the donut was virtually unknown in the States, but the demand created by them inspired countless bakeries to add donuts to their menus. The rest is history.

For more information about National Donut Day, go to or A list of participating shops will be posted on both websites prior to the event.