63rd Kiwanis Pancake Days

If you have not been to the Kiwanis Pancake Days, you have definitely missed out on a fun event. If you have attended, you most surely have seen Mark Doebrich and his youth volunteers in action.

Doebrich, a Kiwanian since 1992, organizes the sponsored youth, including Builders Club at Marietta Middle School, Key Club at Frontier, Marietta and Waterford high schools and Circle K at Marietta College and Washington State Community College.

“We wouldn’t be able to do this without (the youth),” said Doebrich. “We serve too many people.”

The 63rd Kiwanis Pancake Days will be held Friday and Saturday at First Congregational Church in Marietta. Typically more than 1,900 people take advantage of the all-you-can eat event.

“This has evolved tremendously from a small gathering to what it is now,” Doebrich said. “The youth love to volunteer and this gives us an opportunity to showcase them and what they do for their community.”

Pancake Days generally makes thousands of dollars which goes directly back into the community for programs such as Terrific Kids in the elementary schools, BUG (Bringing Up Grades) program at Phillips School, maintenance of local parks and placement of historical markers throughout Marietta.

“Pancake Days is our largest fundraiser,” said chairwoman Marcia Stewart. “All the proceeds — over $25,000 last year — go back into our community. It supports our services, such as landscaping projects at the middle school and high school, maintenance of Lookout Park, a picnic shelter by the Marietta College Boathouse, Marietta Picnic Pavilion-Flanders Field donation, Broughton’s Ice Cream Social, Washington County Relay For Life, The Right Path,  supplies for the humane society, Car Seat Safety Check, Halloween in the Park and Storybook Park with the Washington County Public Library.”

The meal consists of as many pancakes as one can eat, two sausage patties, orange slices and beverages for a cost of $5 in advance or $8 at the door.

While the pancakes are delicious and lovingly prepared by several volunteers, the real star of the show, for many attendees, is the basket auction and raffle.

Linda Eddy, secretary of the club and organizer of the raffle, said that about half of the proceeds come from the auction and raffle.

“I think we have 100 auction items and 60-some raffle items at this point, but they’re still coming in,” she said. “This is a year-long project with most of the basket building happening in January.”

Eddy stressed that the items donated by individuals and businesses include something of interest for everyone, from Hello Kitty to gardening and OSU items to wine baskets.

“I think people enjoy it because they are making a contribution but also getting something in return,” Eddy said.

Tickets can be purchased from any Kiwanis member, at Vogue Swift Cleaners or Peoples News for $5 in advance, or for $8 at the door. Children under age 5 eat free with any ticket holder. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday.