Donuts go well with coffee, milk, even hash browns and bacon, as well as one other thing: parks. Andrew Gauthier, owner of Groovy Donuts, thinks so. In a partnership with the Friends of Williamston Parks, Groovy Donuts of Williamston and East Lansing held a fundraiser event on July 11 to raise money for a new playground in Williamston.
“We opened our first location in Williamston in September of 2015,” said Gauthier. Since opening a second location in East Lansing in 2016, Gauthier said he and his partner Monica Lucas have always been interested in more than just bakeries.
“We’ve made an effort to get involved in the local community and tried to support the folks who have been
supporting us,” said Gauthier. “One of the first people that we were in touch with was Teri Nelson,” a leading member of the Friends of Williamston Parks.
Friends of Williamston Parks, or FOWP, began in 2015 as a volunteer group focused on funding and implementing park improvement efforts to enhance the quality of life for Williamston residents. When Gauthier found out that regular customer Teri Nelson was a member of FOWP, he immediately contacted her with a helping hand.
“I had a conversation with my partner Monica, regarding contributing some donuts for an event for the Friends of Williamston Parks,” said Gauthier. “And we actually approached them with the idea.”
The partners decided to set aside the entire day of July 11 for the Friends of Williamston Parks. On this day, Groovy Donuts donated 10 percent of their gross daily profit and took up cash donations from both of their locations to benefit FOWP’s mission to create a playground for area children.
The playground, located on the corner of Putnam and School Streets, will feature five different elements in a 100 by 50-foot area. Gauthier couldn’t be happier that the money raised will go this project.
“We’re very honored to be a part of helping them,” said Gauthier. “Establishing a new park space in town will really help the youth get outdoors. That’s one thing that we really think is important, especially for the young kids in our community.”
Along with donations, members of FOWP were present at both Groovy Donuts locations to answer questions about their organization, the project and showcased mockups of the completed playground.
Groovy Donuts often has slow summers, but Gauthier is confident that with the help of FOWP his shops will be packed full of community members supporting local business and local nonprofits.
“We definitely put a lot of effort into bringing in people throughout the community,” said Gauthier. “And I know the folks over at the Friends of Williamston Parks have done the same.”
As Groovy Donuts moves into their third year, Gauthier and Lucas prepare to continue their trend in donations.
“We intend to do a fundraiser of this sort at least once or twice a year,” said Gauthier, “I know there are quite a few people that are aware of the Friends of Williamston Parks, but there are just as many that aren’t. Putting them on people’s radars would be an outstanding outcome for this event.”