Hanging With Klecko: Meet Donut Boy
At an hour when you were sleeping, 11-year-old Tyler Carach stepped out of a car that he’s ridden shotgun in for 40,000 miles over the last 14 months to collect 20 dozen donuts at Grandma’s Bakery, my place of employment.
He’s chauffeured by his mother and the two of them are on their way to drop these treats off to some of the Twin Cities finest law enforcement officers.
Klecko: Donut Boy, it’s my understanding that you’ve been traveling across America giving donuts to thank cops. How much of America have you seen?
Donut Boy: Tomorrow we’re headed to Grand Forks and Fargo. North Dakota will be our 47th state.
Tyler Carach is an 11-year-old Floridian who is traveling the country handing out donuts to police officers as a show of respect. To date he’s handed out 90,000 donuts in 47 states and his dream is to go on the Ellen show. What are his chances? If our columnist gets his way, every reader will send this story to Ellen’s producer so Donut Boy’s wish comes true.
Klecko: For real? How do you do that, are you home schooled?
Donut Boy: No, I go to a charter. My family wants me to maintain friendships with my classmates and neighborhood friends, so I spend half the school year on the road, and the other half at home, but during the summer, we pretty much stay on the road.
Klecko: Your mom told me you have your own nonprofit and Facebook page.
Donut Boy: Yeah, www.idonutneedareasontothankacop.com will get you to my website, and if you type idonutneedareasontothankacop on Facebook you will find my page.
Klecko: How did this all get started?
Donut Boy: Three years ago when I was 8, I saw some police officers at the grocery store and I used my allowance to buy them donuts. Afterwards they told me the donuts were great, but the fact that a kid cared enough to give them support was what meant the most to them. I decided right there that I wanted to thank every cop in America, so that’s what I’m trying to do.
Klecko: OK, you said you’ve been to 47 states, but have you doubled up on any?
Donut Boy: Yeah, all the time. Last winter we were here in Minnesota. Your winters are pretty cold, but that’s all right. I was able to raise enough money to get a vest for one of the K-9’s in Anoka.
Klecko: That’s spectacular, I’m not sure if you know this, Tyler, but Anoka is the Halloween capital of the world. By the way, I haven’t asked you, where do you live?
Donut Boy: Florida
Klecko: (Laughing) Yeah I’ll bet our winters do seem cold to you, but let me backtrack. How does your nonprofit raise the money?
Donut Boy: In addition to donations, we put together really cool gift baskets and raffle them off. People love to help us because by doing that, they are serving those who serve us daily.
Klecko: Of the 47 states you’ve been to, do you have a favorite.
Donut Boy: No, it wouldn’t be nice to pick just one, but Alaska was extra special for me. I got to see a moose with big antlers.
Klecko: I’ll bet the cops treat you like a hero bringing in all those donuts, huh?
Donut Boy: They’re the heroes, but they are nice to me. They’ve taken me for rides in boats, utility vehicles and helicopters. Oh yeah, remember when I told you I was here last year in Minnesota? They took me for a ride on a snowmobile. That was awesome. I had never been on one before.
Klecko: Have you met any famous people during your tour?
Donut Boy: I’ve been on ABC News, Fox News, and when I gave away my 40,000th donut I got interviewed by Steve Harvey. On Memorial Day, I ended on the Kelly and Ryan show. I got to be in an obstacle course contest and Kelly Ripa was my partner. She was really nice, but really competitive. She wanted to win. She told me to trip Ryan.
Klecko: (Laughing) How many donuts have you given away now?
Donut Boy: I’m coming up to 90,000.
Klecko: Which means you are closing in on 100,000 donuts. Dude, that’s unbelievable. We will have to get you major news coverage for that. If you could tell any famous celebrity your story, who would you tell?
Donut Boy: I want to talk to Ellen (DeGeneres). We’ve written to her show a couple of times but haven’t heard anything.
Klecko: Not to worry, Donut Boy, Ellen is super busy, but I’m going to write a column about what a stand-up guy you are and then I’ll have all my friends send it to Ellen, you can have your friends send it, too. Let’s face it, a kid driving across America raising money to help police departments. She’s gonna call. Ellen’s gonna have your back.
Donut Boy: That would be really cool. A lot of people don’t know that a lot of police departments don’t have enough money to buy all the things that they need, and sometimes the officers end up buying different things with their own money. I don’t think they should have to do that.
Klecko: I’m with ya kid, by the way. Nobody’s talked to as many cops across America as you, so as a baker, I have to ask, what’s their favorite donut?
Donut Boy: Boston crème or glazed rings
Klecko: What’s your favorite?
Donut Boy: I’m not sure what it’s even called, but when I was in Michigan I had this pineapple upside down cake donut that was really good.
Klecko: Listen, kid, your mom is giving me a look like you gotta go, so real quick, at what point will you switch from Donut Boy to Donut Man?
Donut Boy: Maybe when I can grow a mustache.
Klecko: I am a huge fan of cops. I don’t have to tell you how important they are or how difficult their job is. Thanks for letting Grandma’s Bakery partner with you on your mission of goodwill.
You’re a stand-up guy Tyler.
Donut Boy: (BLUSH)
Until next time,
Dan “Klecko” McGleno can be reached at email@example.com or 651-329-4321.