These Are The Days ... Of Pancakes
Lions Club Serving Meals, Supporting The Community
Though the event was held outdoors for decades, this year’s benefit will take place inside the Broadway Volunteer Fire Department’s Activities Hall. The switch to a new location began last year, and has been a “great improvement,” according to club president John Knepper.
“There’s a certain novelty to being outside in the tent … but it’s an uncontrolled environment,” he remarked. “It’s easier to control the temperature and cleanliness from inside.”
Knepper credits the BVFD for the idea.
“They came to us and let us know their facility was available if we wanted to make use of it,” he said.
Colby Mongold, president of the BVFD, says the fire department is pleased to share the building with its fellow community organization, and quickly points out that the Lions Club often lends the department a hand, as well.
“They’ve supported the fire department with monetary donations — anything we need, they help us out on,” he explained, adding that their friendly relationship is a “win-win situation for everyone involved.”
Though the fundraiser is now a two-day event that attracts an estimated 800-900 hungry customers, longtime club member Larry Bowman remembers when it was just getting off the ground.
According to Bowman, the first Pancake Days were held in 1978, after other fundraising efforts — such as chicken barbecues — fell short of the expected goals.
“We weren’t making much money and someone came up with the idea that we should start making pancakes,” he recalled. “We borrowed the tents and grill, and it was only on Saturday.”
At one of the earlier Pancake Days, a state celebrity was among those in attendance.
“In 1985, we had Miss Virginia here,” said member Vivian Turner, adding that the beauty queen was her second cousin. “She was in the Miss America pageant and got [an award] for talent.”
While the Broadway Lions Club supports various community causes, Knepper says most of the money raised will go towards its main charity — working to improve and prevent blindness and hearing loss.
However, he hopes locals will attend not only to support the charity — and enjoy good pancakes — but also to learn about the club.
“It’s a chance for us to be with the community [and for them] to meet us, to know what we are,” Knepper explained.
“A lot of folks think of us as a fraternal organization. We are not; we are a service community.”
Contact Katie King at (540) 574-6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.