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Elie Klein. 'Sponsors choose where money goes'
Photo: Aliza Klein
Eating donuts for charity
Donations pour in for every sufganiya Elie Klein eats as part of Facebook campaign
Elie Klein is on a mission: Eating as many sufganiyot as he can. But the Bet Shemesh resident has good reason for his donut binge – individuals in Israel and abroad are donating money for every sufganiya he eats.

 

By the weekend, Klein's sufganiyot count reached 34, raising more than NIS 12,000 (some $3,500) from more than 50 donors through the original Facebook campaign.

 

Last year, Klein and a few of his neighbors made a gentlemen's bet regarding who could eat the most sufganiyot. They updated their Twitter and Facebook statuses to "keep score," while Klein joked with his wife that he was eating so many donuts that someone should sponsor him.

 

'Joining in on the fun'

This year, the same bet was made, and "contest participants" again updated their "scores" online.

 

However, Klein says that when he made the same sponsorship joke to his wife's cousin she met the challenge – and pledged $10 per sufganiya to the charity of his choice.

 

Moments later, a neighbor decided to "join in on the fun" and pledged NIS 10 (roughly $3) per sufganiya to a Bet Shemesh-based charity.

 

Later, another neighbor sent Klein a message on Facebook to let him know that he had named his new initiative and created a Facebook event for it. And then the pledges started rolling in.

 

'Blessed with crazy metabolism'

The 30-year-old Klein, a US-born father of two who moved to Israel in 2008, says his experiment has "conclusively proven the power of social media, grassroots movements and human kindness." The non-profit public relations specialist says his campaign included not a single solicitation.

 

"I believe that there are two reasons why this is such an incredible success," he says. "First, it's fun. It's entertaining and new, it's not the same old walk-a-thon…Second, the sponsors get to choose where the money goes."

 

And what about the weight gain as result of eating all those sufganiot?

 

"Thus far, zero," Klein says. "I was blessed with a crazy metabolism. Thank the good L-rd for that."

 

 

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