By Melanie Tucker, email@example.com
Published May 3, 2011, in The Daily Times
MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE—The most recent graduates of Pancake University have spatulas, will travel — at least as far as Alcoa High School, the site of a special event this Saturday.
These newly trained chefs of the breakfast world are actually members of Alcoa Kiwanis Club and they spent an afternoon last week in preparation for the club’s annual Pancake Breakfast. Members Kenneth Paxton, Bob Garbutt, Charles Johnson, Donna Bailey, Art Hafner and President Carl Sten arrived for kitchen duty at International House of Pancakes in Maryville for a session on how to make the fluffiest pancakes. IHOP manager James Johnson provided each with an apron and quickly ushered them behind the cooking line where they got to practice pouring batter onto the grill and then flipping them until golden brown.
Each of the Kiwanis members has been assigned a specific job on Saturday. There’s the ‘bombardier,’ the one in charge of making sure all pancakes are the same size. The flippers get to do just that. Then there are servers, ticket takers, cleanup crew and the list goes on. It’s the Kiwanis’ largest fundraiser of the year, requiring most of its 74 members.
And when it’s all over, the proceeds will stay right in Blount County, helping several organizations that work with children and youth. Organizations like Head Start, Success by 6, Haven House, Birth to Three, 4-H, Boy Scouts, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and Special Olympics will all benefit from this event.
So if you love pancakes, a cheap breakfast (only $5) or helping this community’s future, stop by Alcoa High School Saturday morning. Sten and his eager helpers will be serving from 7 a.m. to noon, and there’s even some entertainment lined up. A book sale and bake sale are also part of the morning’s activities.
Paxton has been participating in the annual fundraiser for many years. He’s been in Kiwanis for 56 continuous years and said this is a lot of work but it’s a whole lot of fun, too.
Garbutt is the newbie in the mix this year. He’s been a member of Kiwanis for only three months but is eager to get flipping for a cause. “I’m going to be a pancake bomber, a bombardier,” he said. “I’m not sure what that is, but I am here to find out.”
A member of Kiwanis since 1995, Charles Johnson has served up more than a few pancakes. The club anticipates as many as 3,000 people may come Saturday. That’s at least 6,000 pancakes that will be rolling off the griddles and onto the plates of hungry patrons.
This is Bailey’s third year on the cooking line. She said practice makes perfect. “Since I failed the flipping course last year they made me come back,” she said.
All joking aside, Hafner said Kiwanis is a great organization that has as its mission the children of the world. The local club, he explained, narrows that down to include those living right here. He said patrons of the breakfast can expect to see young adults from the Circle K club at Maryville College, Key Clubs from Blount high schools and Builders Clubs from the middle schools, all volunteering their help.
After trading jabs and tying on their aprons, it was time to head to the kitchen. Each took their turn at turning ladles full of batter into something delectable.
Johnson, who has been a manager at IHOP for a few years, declared them ready for battle, I mean batter, after Pancake U was complete.
All that has to happen now is a huge turnout on Saturday.
May 17 2011, 09:30 AM