Jenny Bu re-stocks more donuts during National Donut Day at Dad's Donuts in Burbank on Friday, June 1, 2012.

Jenny Bu re-stocks more donuts during National Donut Day at Dad's Donuts in Burbank on Friday, June 1, 2012. (Cheryl Guerrero/Staff photographer / June 1, 2012)

Several local shops on Friday took part in National Donut Day — a celebration of the origins of that sugary, deep-fried bread that taunts dieters.

National Donut Day dates back to the Great Depression when the Salvation Army started it as a fundraiser and tribute to the women volunteers who served donuts to soldiers on the front lines overseas during World War I.

When the soldiers came home, they wanted more, but donuts,were still an unknown in the United States.

Each year, proceeds from National Donut Day go to help local veterans. This year, all of the proceeds will go to The Haven, a homeless shelter operated by the Salvation Army which serves about 2,000 veterans. Around $10,000 is expected to be donated, according to organizers.

In addition to helping veterans, local Salvations Army organizations provide other assistance, such as food banks, after-school programs and transitional housing for women with children, said Capt. Rio Ray, who heads up the Glendale Salvation Army.

For Ray, the celebration gives him cause to reflect.

“We remember the women in World War I and continue their example to serve,” he said.

Nestled in the Beuna Victory Plaza in Burbank, Bruce Bu, owner of Dad’s Donuts, said he’s participated in National Donut Day the past few years after being encouraged by one of his vendors.

“It’s patriotic,” he said as the early-morning sun streamed into the side windows of his small shop, which he’s owned since 1984. “I want to give back to the community."

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Have a doughnut, or two, and celebrate National Donut Day

-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Twitter: @LAMarkKellam