The “Thank-A-Vet” Discount Program in Erie County received a jolt of support Monday, Veterans Day.
County Clerk Christopher L. Jacobs announced that Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the county will be offering 10 percent discounts to veterans.
Dunkin’ Donuts joins more than 350 area businesses that provide discounts to veterans, Jacobs said, adding that the well-known chain represents a major boost to the program, which in the last year has grown substantially with bargains on everything from chiropractic care to financial advice to safe-driving courses that lower insurance costs.
“We’ve sought a lot of businesses, and this was our easiest call,” Jacobs said at a news conference in the Dunkin’ Donuts at Hertel and Delaware avenues. “As soon as we called Dunkin’ Donuts, they called right back and said, ‘We’re in.’ ”
Jacobs said that having a recognized name such as Dunkin’ Donuts helps raise the profile of the discount program. To qualify, he said, veterans need to provide their original discharge papers to his office so the papers can be scanned and then returned.
In addition, veterans will be issued an identification card making them eligible for the discounts at all of the participating businesses. A list of participating merchants can be found at the county clerk’s website, www.erie.gov/clerk.
Douglas W. Spolyar, chief operating officer of Northern Star Restaurant Management, which runs 19 Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the county, said the franchise is devoted to doing as much as it can for veterans.
“My mom and dad served in the Navy during the Vietnam era at a hospital in Newport, R.I. My dad was an administrator, and my mom was a nurse, and I still remember the stories she would tell me as a boy when she came home from work about those who served in Vietnam and were wounded,” Spolyar said of his reasons for wanting to give those who have served the country a break on their coffee and other purchases. “We’d love to do even more.”
Merchants who want to participate in the program, Jacobs said, can do so by visiting the county clerk’s website and downloading an application. The completed form should be returned by mail to: Erie County Clerk’s Office, 92 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY 14202-3902.
As the repository for official documents in the county, Jacobs said, his office will store original military discharge papers of veterans free of charge “for safekeeping and peace of mind to the veteran and their loved ones, knowing that certified copies are easily accessible when needed.”