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‘Mr. Donuts’ helping SwedishAmerican employees smile

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Mr. Donuts

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Matthew Bartsch was born and raised in Minnesota before he called Rockford home.

Meeting the woman he has called his wife for the last 26 years brought him to the stateline and to a job he has held about as long as his marriage.

Bartsch has been a member of the Swedes security team for the better part of three decades.

It's a place that feels like home to him.

Somewhere he can work and still be himself.

"I have special needs kids and it was a place that I was allowed to be Mr. Mom and still have a career. It's treated me very well," Bartsch said.

'Mr. Mom' isn't the only nickname Bartsch accepts.

Over the past few years, he adopted the moniker of 'Mr. Donuts.'

The name's origin stems from Bartsch taking a second job making the baked goods at Sullivan's in Winnebago.

One day, he decided to bring some of his creations to a friend at work, then it became something bigger.

"She would say 'Oh these are really good.' Then it became 'ya know what, let's share some donuts,'" Bartsch said.

The sharing spread not to just one person but to the entire health system.

Bartsch began bringing donuts to clinics every couple of weeks to provide some positivity for people.

"I just really appreciated the genuine spirit of 'Hey, I'm going to drop these off and I'm going to go on my way and I just wanna see you guys happy.'" SwedishAmerican operations manager Patricia Delhotal said.

"As I was telling different people throughout the system, they all said 'Oh yea Matt! He's dropped stuff off at my clinic before.' I just thought it was really cool. I just really appreciated that he does this."

This simple gesture has made Bartsch quite notable throughout the health system.

However, the notoriety means nothing to him.

All he cares about is being able to help people feel good.

"I've always taken pride in the fact that if I can make someone smile then I've done my job for the day,' Bartsch said.

"Right now I just want to see people smile. If bringing some donuts will bring a little bit of joy to people's lives then let's give them some donuts."

The simplest things like bringing people donuts can create positivity.

We continue to ask for your help in showing us the people who are working in ways both big and small to make the 815 a better place to live.

If you know someone changing our community for the better, you can fill out a nomination form here or you can reach out to

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Evan Leake

Evan Leake anchors for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon. Evan grew up in Darien, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago. He came to WREX in 2017 and worked his way to the anchor desk in May of 2019. He coordinates both the Teacher of the Week and Inspiring 815 series for 13 News. You can connect with Evan at or Evan Leake on Facebook.

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