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<p>SANTA MARIA, Calif. – It was an offer too tempting to pass up. So despite rather short notice and limited publicity, area residents began lining up outside Vandenberg Federal Credit Union before 7 o’clock in the morning to get their dough. Now they’re licking their lips in anticipation of the next time the credit union offers such a sweet deal. The attraction had nothing to do with low interest rates on loans or high interest rates on savings. We’re talking here about something much more important: Krispy Kreme doughnuts. With no Krispy Kreme store within a two-hour drive for what some consider a taste sensation, credit union officials launched a fund-raising campaign for the Children’s Miracle Network by offering to deliver prepaid boxes of the glazed confectionery treats to the community. It took two vans and a small truck to haul the 760 dozen Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts – that’s more than 9,100 of the doughy treats – from Oxnard to Santa Maria. Credit union spokeswoman Paulette Cunningham said officials drove to Oxnard the night before and were waiting at 4 a.m. Friday (Jan. 25) for the Krispy Kreme store to open. They then made the two-hour trek back to Santa Maria where the doughnuts were distributed to the hungry masses. “The response was overwhelming,” Cunningham reported. So successful was the campaign – it raised $3,120 – that the credit union plans to do it again in February and then possibly on a quarterly basis. Credit union officials said their goal was to raise $5,000 during the year for the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN), an international non-profit organization that raises funds for and awareness of children’s hospitals. CMN today benefits 170 children’s hospitals that serve more than 14 million youngsters annually. “We’re more than halfway there in just the first month,” Cunningham said of the credit union’s fund-raising efforts. Diana Dykstra, chief executive officer at Vandenberg FCU, was featured on a local television station after the doughnuts were distributed. The local newspaper sent a reporter and photographer to cover the story. To get people’s mouths watering before the event, the credit union posted flyers at each member service window. Employees also talked up the event during and after business hours. A limited number of flyers were faxed to area business. Cunningham was interviewed on three radio stations prior to event to drum up support for the fund-raising effort. “People were calling the station even before I left (to order doughnuts),” she said with a laugh. Cunningham admitted that Krispy Kreme has attracted a loyal, almost fanatical, following among doughnut connoisseurs ever since the company opened for business in 1937. “Once you have one. you just have to take one bite,” she said. She admitted that all of the doughnuts picked up in Oxnard made it back safely to Vandenberg FCU. -</p> <p>[email protected]</p>

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