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Kiwanis Pancake Days has sweet opener

First day of fundraiser serves hundreds

Ben Delong of Lowell and Mark Duckworth of Marietta work the sausage grill Friday morning for the 66th annual Kiwanis Pancake Days at First Congregational Church in Marietta. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

MARIETTA  – The smell of sausage and pancakes filled the First Congregational Church in Marietta as day one of the 66th annual Kiwanis Pancake Days kicked off Friday morning.

Despite the snow, 230 people had purchased pancakes by 12:30 p.m.

“It’s not bad considering the weather,” said Linda Eddy, auction coordinator and Kiwanis member.

Pancake Days continues today from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. at the church.

The meal is $8 for adults and free for children under age 5 who are attending with a ticket holder. The meal includes all-you-can-eat pancakes, two sausage patties, an orange slice and beverage.

Rick Peoples mans the drink station Friday morning for Kiwanis Pancake Days at the First Congregational Church in Marietta. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

Becky Holmes, Marietta resident and secretary at the church, has attended the event the past five years.

“I usually bring my grandchildren, but they are at the age where it’s difficult to get them all together,” she explained.

She said she enjoys the fellowship and seeing the community come together.

“It’s a good time for everybody and it supports the community,” Holmes added. “And a good thing is on Sunday morning, it still smells like pancakes.”

Although Mark Doebrich, Kiwanis sponsor youth chairman, was busy at the drink station, he said he was excited about the event. The organization is very youth-focused, he said.

“Kiwanis is basically to mentor them, show them the protocol of meetings, how to operate service projects, develop leadership, communication, fellowship and fun,” Doebrich said. “If it’s not fun, we’re not going to do it.”

Kiwanis’ motto is to serve children of the world, all over the world in all different ways, he added.

“(That includes ) giving vaccinations in third world countries, neonatal tetanus shots and helping those with iodine deficiency disorder,” he said.

Some of the local projects the club has done are upgrades to Phillips Elementary, and starting the character education program Terrific Kids at Phillips and Harmar elementaries.

Doebrich said they are hoping they raise more than the $23,000 raised last year. He said all proceeds go to service projects.

“We’re trying to figure out how to replace the playground at Washington Elementary,” he said.

Pancake Days is the sole fundraiser for the year, and makes up next year’s budget, he noted.

Along with the meal, people are able to bid on 110 baskets in a silent auction or sign up for the elite raffle. Big ticket items such as a 50-inch Vizio TV, a Stihl battery packed blower set, 31.5 inch rolling fireplace with infrared electric insert, Voyager deluxe angler kayak and paddle, Yeti cooler and HP Chromebook convertible laptop are included in the elite raffle.

Julie Wrocklage and Kendra Shoge, both of Parkersburg, were attending the event for the first time on Friday.

“I bowl with (event chairperson) Melanie Singer on Tuesday nights,” Wrocklage said. “She told me about it.”

She said the meal was “perfect on a snowy day like this.”

Wrocklage was also interested in the basket auction. She said she was going to look to see what was available for her niece.

“I’m definitely going to walk around and see stuff,” she added.

Both women said they would probably attend again.

“It’s worth it,” Shoge said.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

***

If You Go…

* Who: Marietta Kiwanis Club.

* What: 66th Annual Pancake Days.

* When: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. today.

* Where: First Congregational Church, 318 Front St., Marietta.

* Why: To fund projects for youth in the community.

* Cost: $8. Includes all-you-can-eat pancakes, two sausage patties, an orange slice and beverage.

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