Sept 19, 2002
Students from a Calvin College residence hall started classes on September 9. Just a week later they worked a camping trip into their daily schedule of class, homework, chapel, meals and more. But this is no ordinary camping trip.
The site is less than a mile from campus, at the corner of the East Beltline and 28th Street, one of the busiest intersections in Grand Rapids. It's home to a new Krispy Kreme donut shop, slated to open September 24. And the Calvin students plan to camp in front of the store for a week with the goal being to win a year's supply of free donuts (and maybe more).
It all started during orientation week at Calvin when representatives from Krispy Kreme gave out free donuts at a movie night on campus. They also announced that the first 12 people into the store on opening day would receive free donuts for a year.
Three resident assistants in Boer Hall started scheming about how to win the prize. When all was said and done RAs Jeff Konczal of Powell, Ohio, Matt DeKam of Leota, Minn., and Dave Boven of Elmhurst, Ill., had a plan that now includes three tents, a motor home and a schedule that sees at least two Calvin students on the Krispy Kreme premises at all times.
By the time Krispy Kreme opens its doors for the first time on Tuesday, September 24, members of Boer Hall will have been there for a week, breaking the previous Krispy Kreme campout record of four days, set at a recent store-opening in Albuquerque. In addition to donuts, those campers were also given a Krispy-Kreme-themed Harley-Davidson, so big things may be in store for the Boer campers as well.
The owners of the franchise, who are also opening several other Krispy Kremes in West Michigan, have been very friendly and helpful, say the Boer RAs. They've let the campers use the bathrooms and even brought out boxes of donuts for them.
The effort has been great for dorm unity, says Konzcal. "Without everyone's participation, it wouldn't work," he says. "After we were on the news, everyone was like: there's no way we're going to lose."
And whatever the outcome the students are having fun. Says Konzcal: "We'll never forget this."
~with reporting by media relations student writer Abe Huyser-Honig