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Washington — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell kept up her husband's tradition of handing out dozens of paçzki on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, offering the glazed treats to colleagues and friends. 

Nearly a month after former Rep. John Dingell Jr.'s death, this year's delivery felt even more significant as a way to celebrate his Polish heritage, she said. John Dingell's great-grandfather immigrated to the United States from Poland in 1872, and his grandfather in 1881. 

"When you come from Michigan, where we have a significant Polish community, Paczki Tuesday is a big deal for us," said Debbie Dingell, who is actually Irish. 

"It was important to me to continue the tradition. I think it's a good time to remind us how rich all of our cultures are. Ritual and traditions do tie us together from generation to generation."  

For years, John Dingell had brought several dozen paçzki, often from a bakery in Hamtramck, to Washington to share. Debbie Dingell this year needed so many that she had 300 of the pastries made locally in Maryland, a staffer said. 

She delivered dozens to newsrooms in Detroit on Monday and dropped off two dozen to journalists in the House Press Gallery at the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon. 

"Think of Mr. Dingell," she told the reporters gathered. 

Dingell later planned to deliver more of the high-calorie treats to the offices of House leadership. 

Dingell also had paçzki delivered to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state legislators in Lansing, and to other members of the Michigan congressional delegation in Washington.

 

mburke@detroitnews.com

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