Blend to honor a friend
Dunn Bros. sells coffee to benefit man’s favorite charity


Oct. 22, 2014

Owner Al Jung displays a package Tuesday afternoon of Dale’s Local Blend, on sale at Dunn Bros. Coffee in West Bend. The special blend is in memory of the late Dale Brunner. Brunner,
a regular at the store, was a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy.  

John Ehlke/Daily News 

Dale Brunner was passionate about coffee and the Special Olympics so it seems fitting that those two seemingly unconnected things should be a part of his legacy.

Brunner, of Jackson, died of brain cancer Aug. 12.

“Dale started coming in shortly after I opened in 2011,” Al Jung, owner of Dunn Bros. Coffee at 950 W. Paradise Drive, West Bend, said Tuesday morning. “He became a regular so one day I sat down with him and asked him what his story was.”

Jung said he learned Brunner had been an Army Ranger, a Milwaukee Police officer and had been a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy for 10 years before retiring. The two weren’t in conversation very long before it turned to coffee, Jung said.

“He told me he had worked at Morning Glory as a coffee roaster and that he had made a special blend that customers really liked,” Jung said. “It was a blend of Columbian and Guatemalan coffee beans.”

“I tried it and it was really smooth. From then on, I would make some up special for him and he’d come by and buy bags for his family and friends,” Jung said.

Dale Brunner of Jackson, seen with Cindy Bentley, a Special Olympian, died of brain cancer in August. He was the first director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.   
Submitted photo

Jung also discovered Brunner’s other love — the Special Olympics of Wisconsin.

“He was very involved in fundraising for the Special Olympics and loved to talk about it,” Jung said.

One day, Jung said, Brunner stopped coming to the coffee shop.

“I asked around about him and heard that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer,” Jung said.

Wanting to do something that would be a tribute to the customer who had become a friend, Jung decided to use the coffee bean concoction Dale had come up with as part of the Dunn Bros. rollout of its “local blends,” line of signature coffees. “It’s called ‘Dale’s Blend’ and $1 of every bag sold goes to the Special Olympics,” Jung said. “Dale was a true supporter of me and of the shop when it opened so I’m happy that I have the opportunity to do something in his memory for a cause that meant so much to him.”

Betty Brunner said she was “beyond thrilled,” when she heard about Jung’s idea of selling the blend her late husband had perfected.

“I think Dale would have been very happy because he loved his special blend but most of all, he would have been so pleased about the money benefiting the Special Olympics. That would have meant the world to him,” Betty Brunner said.

Dale Brunner was the first director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics and carried “the flame of hope” on the local, national and international level. He was also a recipient of the International Torch Run Hall of Fame Award given by Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founders of the Special Olympics, according to Betty Brunner.