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Brainerd, Minnesota Weekly Interest and News

Lakes Area Senior Center Donuts - The Brainerd Center - Order Doughnuts
June 14, 2007
Laura Hasse

You can get them white or chocolate, plain, sugared or frosted. For frosting, you may choose vanilla, chocolate, German Chocolate, or cream cheese. If you’d like, you can even have sprinkles! How do you decide what typeChocolate frosted doughnuts with sprinkles of doughnut you’d like? It may be a tough choice, but it’s fun to figure out your favorite when they taste so good.

Many people in the Brainerd Lakes Area have already discovered their favorites and pick up doughnuts every Thursday at the Lakes Area Senior Center, where the doughnuts are made fresh by volunteers. These dedicated volunteers, some of whom have been volunteering for 20 years, make approximately 150-200 dozen doughnuts weekly. Last week, was a record-breaking week: they made 300 dozen doughnuts!

As you can imagine, making doughnuts in this quantity is not a small task. Each Thursday, approximately 10-12 volunteers arrive at the Senior Center each Thursday (some as early as 2:30 am!) to start making doughnuts. The Senior Center has two doughnut machines, each of which can produce 31 dozen doughnuts per hour. On an Volunteer boxing an order of doughnutsaverage week, the doughnut machines are done running between 6:30 and 7:00 am. The work, however, is not done yet. Frosting, boxing, and distributing continues for a couple more hours. Doughnut orders are often placed in advance (which is especially recommended for large orders); but they also welcome walk-in orders. Advance orders may be placed by phone or online at In addition to picking up orders, people may purchase a doughnut and coffee to be enjoyed right at the Senior Center. Typically, the volunteers are wrapping up serving the doughnuts around 10:00 or 10:30 am.

The doughnut sales are one of the main fundraising events for the Senior Center. The mill levy that they receive is the only greater source of revenue. Housed in the Senior Center is a gift shop that is also used to raise funds. Merchandise in the Gift Shop includes handmade crafts that are made by members who have paid for vending space. Other annual fundraising events include a plant sale (held in May), three (3) craft sales, a garage sale, and a fundraising dinner. DeAnn Barry, Director of the Lakes Area Senior Center, mentioned that for the fundraising dinner they often team up with an area youth group to help serve the meal and then share a portion of the proceeds with them. The Senior Center is currently raising funds for a new parking lot and holds occasional events specifically for that cause; however, the majority of the funds raised are needed to keep the Senior Center in operation.

The mission of the Lakes Area Senior Center is, “to have a Senior Center which is a community focal point on aging; a place where mature citizens can meet and participate in activities, classes, programs and services which will support their independence and enhance their dignity and quality of life.”

Volunteer hours have a great impact on the success with which the Senior Center is run. In fact, 2006 ended just shy of 13,000 logged volunteer hours! Additionally, to help carry out its mission, the Senior Center employs 1 part-time staff member and 3 full-time staff members and is under the direction of a 13-member Board of Directors. However, decisions about which activities will be held are decided on by the members themselves. For example, just last week the members voted to start an amateur wood carving group. Other activities that are available for members include bus trips to Twins games, dances, card games and other outings. DeAnn expressed the importance that taking part in these events and activities holds for seniors, “They take part in activities that they enjoy; they stay informed and in touch.”

If you are interested in ordering doughnuts, volunteering, or membership at the Senior Center, check out their website at Alternately, feel free to call 218-829-9345 or email for more information. The Lakes Area Senior Activity Center is located at 803 Kingwood St. in Brainerd.

Setting the doughnut machine One of two doughnuts machines at the Senior Center
Freshly baked doughnuts! Doughnuts ready for boxing
Volunteers frosting doughnuts Frosted doughnuts
Doughnuts ready to be frosted Adding sprinkles to the frosted doughnuts
Boxing orders of doughnuts Volunteers



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