Dum Dums creates sweet tribute to retiring candy maker

Dum Dums have been around since the 1920s. They're a popular candy choice for Halloween and birthday parties, and doctors' offices stock up to give them as treats for good patients.

Spangler, the company that makes the candy, recently shared a photo of one of its workers, only identified by his first name Al, who is retiring today after 48 years in the factory.

Their sweet tribute on social media to Al has gone viral, with the company asking people to use #ThanksAl with their memories of the candy.

"Al has made 50+ billion Dum Dums in over 48 years at the factory, and is retiring Friday, but he thinks no one cares," the Facebook post reads.

"My son died when he was six months old. We were never able to bring him home, but the one treat he did enjoy in the NICU were strawberry flavored Dum Dums. I still have what's left of them, packed away in his things after 16 years. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. And thank you from Jonathan. You made his brief time on this earth a little better. #thanksAl," Kim Shafer Rundstrom wrote.

"Best candy available on deployment, because they didn't melt and reminded us of better times. Congratulations on a well-deserved retirement, Al," Kitsie Ferguson wrote.

"This is my son, Deklan. He has severe autism, and had never had a Dum Dum until this video. This Dum Dum is his first ever. I have to feel that Al made this one just for him. #thanksAL," Kimberly Eblin Perry wrote.

"My son has an esophageal disorder that greatly restricts his diet. Dum Dums have always been considered a safe food for him. One year, when we didn't have enough safe foods to make him a birthday cake, he had a Dum Dums cake instead. Thank you, Al, for helping my son enjoy these sweet treats," Katie Dobbins-Schmuke wrote.

Regina Powell Williams shared a photo with the caption, "Being from Kentucky, one summer we did horses to celebrate the Derby. One of my students covered his with Dum Dums wrappers."

"We definitely care. My daughter Sarah thinks she needs one for each hand. She is loving the peach-mango and bubblegum flavors. I have two favorites: cotton candy and cream soda. Thanks, Al, for your help in creating wonderful candy for 48 years," Reona Rawlins wrote.

The messages continue to pour in for Al. As of Friday morning, there have been more than 11,000 comments on Facebook and and nearly 2,000 retweets on Twitter.

There's no word on what he plans to do after retirement, but we all wish him the best of luck.

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