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For empowering people throughout the community, Donut Dash founder Zack Wandell wins prestigious service award

UC Davis Children’s Hospital fundraiser Zachary Wandell has been awarded Allstate’s top national honor for giving back and supporting people and organizations in the local community, including the hospital’s Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy program. A local Allstate agency owner, Wandell is the recipient of the 2018 Ray Lynch Community Service Award, established in 2000 in honor of former Allstate agency owner Ray Lynch.

“It is humbling for someone to say to me, ‘You are the person Ray was,’” Wandell said. “The award is an honor; a legacy. It’s a testament to the many Allstate agency owners who do so much to empower people and communities by lending their time, their expertise and their passion to lifting others.”

Since opening his Allstate agency in 1999, Wandell has gone above and beyond in volunteering his time, creativity, enthusiasm and resources to organize fun-filled charity events like Donut Dash, Duck Dash and most recently, Scoop Scoot. In addition to raising money for children’s hospitals, Wandell has also supported local animal shelters, domestic violence nonprofits and homeless shelters.

“I like having fun with philanthropy,” said Wandell, who was selected from 14 regional nominees to win the award. “Giving back is core to who we are and I’m both humbled and amazed to see how these simple fundraising ideas have blossomed and grown into events that empower thousands of individuals, helping them improve their lives and fulfill their hopes and dreams.”

It all started back in 2009 with a race for donuts. The event, held at William Land Park in Sacramento, invites participants to run, walk or jog two miles to a local donut shop. Once there, participants eat four donuts or six donut holes before racing back to the park. The Donut Dash has grown to more than 2,500 participants annually and, to date has raised $550,000 to provide activities and toys to hospitalized children.

“We started Donut Dash with 25 people. Now we’re drawing support from thousands of local residents and making a real difference. That’s the ‘awe’ factor for me,” says Wandell.

Wandell’s creative events now include the Duck Dash and Scoop Scoot as well. The Duck Dash, a summertime rubber duck race held in the lazy river at Raging Waters, Sacramento, also raises money for the Child Life Program at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Since 2013, thousands of ducks have raced, generating $65,000 to benefit hospitalized children.

The dessert-based Scoop Scoot charity event started in 2017 and features a 1.5-mile run to a local ice cream shop where participants enjoy a scoop of ice cream before running back to their starting point. The inaugural and year two events generated $30,000 to benefit the UC Davis Children’s Child Life Program, along with St. John’s Program for Real Change and Front Street Animal Shelter.

Wandell also inspires others at Allstate to get involved and give back to their communities. For a reverse guest chef dinner, he recruited 35 Allstaters to serve dinner to women participating in a food services job-training program at St. John’s Program for Real Change. Wandell also had 30 Allstate agency owners join him for Strokes 4 Hope, a local golf tournament that raised money for breast cancer research.

“As a small business owner, Zack is ingrained in his community and with that privilege comes the ability to assess and meet the needs of the people who call it home,” said Phil Telgenhoff, Field Senior Vice President, Allstate California Region. “Zack has always gone above and beyond to help those in need, and it’s incredible to see the impact that he has made. We could not be prouder of all that he has accomplished.”