On the eve of National Donut Day 2020, LaMar’s Donuts announced 19 winners of its first Essential Service Awards—healthcare, childcare, education and public safety professionals who have made extraordinary contributions to their communities during the current pandemic.

The winners were chosen from nominations by fellow citizens across the five states that are home to LaMar’s locations. Each winner is receiving a year’s worth of LaMar’s doughnuts.

“The last couple of months have been stressful,” said winner Robert Burgess of Overland Park, Kansas, maintenance and housekeeping manager at the 45-bed Stratford Commons Rehabilitation & Health Care. Due to a shortage of personal protective equipment, Burgess left his family and home behind for weeks at a time to live in the facility so he could wash staff’s protective clothing overnight.

“At one point, I was gone so long that our border collie Arthur didn’t recognize me when I got back home.”

When the pandemic hit hardest, the North Phoenix Weekday Preschool in Arizona closed to the public and offered free childcare for essential workers.

“Our staff has worked hard to find the right balance between supporting families in the community who need childcare while also taking the most responsible precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy," said Jennifer Wolf, preschool director.

In the spirit of social distancing, some winners received boxes of doughnuts today via air delivery from drones wearing face masks. A listing of winners along with photos and video of deliveries are available at LaMars.com/EssentialService.

On June 5, LaMar’s Donuts, which has been crafting handmade doughnuts from the same original recipes created by its founder Ray Lamar since 1933, will give away a free doughnut to each visitor to any LaMar’s location in celebration of National Donut Day. In addition, LaMar’s will give two free doughnuts to anyone presenting evidence of employment in public service—a business card, a nameplate or badge, or a uniform, for example. No purchase is required in either case.

LaMar’s Donuts has remained open throughout the pandemic, although the company has closed indoor dining areas and limited the number of customers allowed in each store at once.