Piling on the pancakes at Kiwanis event

Snow in the forecast Saturday isn’t expected to keep a hungry crowd from enjoying the second day of the 59th annual Kiwanis Pancake Days.

Hundreds turned out in temperatures around 17 degrees for the first day of the event Friday, filling the First Congregational Church in Marietta.

“We had about 450 people in the couple of hours we served during the early afternoon,” said Ann Hontz, president of the Marietta chapter of Kiwanis Club.

More came during the dinner rush.

A ticket is $7 at the door and the menu includes sausage patties along with all-you-can-eat pancakes. Drinks are also available and include orange juice, milk or a hot cup of coffee.

Hours Saturday are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

Volunteers working in the kitchen had their hands full Friday keeping up with the demands of hungry customers who showed up in force. Two stations of workers cooked constantly, barely managing to keep a steady supply of pancakes available for those in attendance.

“Usually the weather doesn’t affect this event and when it does it tends to help our numbers,” Hontz said. “It gives people a chance to socialize and get something warm to eat.”

There was an even a bit of a wait for the serving to begin again at 5 p.m. Friday.

“At 4:30 we had people lining up the stairs waiting to be served,” Hontz said. “We had to let them in a little early so they could take a look at the baskets we have up for auction and raffle.”

The baskets are a signature trademark of Kiwanis Pancake Days and typically generate a large portion of the money made at the event.

“There are over 100 baskets with various themes this year and we are hoping to get at least $10,000 from them this year,” said Linda Eddy, the Kiwanis member in charge of the auction and raffle.

Basket themes vary greatly, but this year include Ohio State, children books, Cleveland Cavaliers and family movie night themes.

“People will actually come in on Saturday evening just so they have a chance to be the last bid on the basket they want,” Hontz said. “Some of our packages already have over $100 bids on them.”

Many in attendance Friday had pinned their hopes on a certain item.

“The flat screen television in the raffle has caught my eye,” said Gary Williams of Reno. “My granddaughter is my luck, so I’m letting her hold on to my raffle ticket.”

Williams attends the event every year he can and sees it as the perfect opportunity to spend time with family and community, he said.

“It’s nice that on a cold winter night people can come enjoy some warm food while being in the company of family and friends,” Williams said.

The community is what Kiwanis Pancake Days is all about, according to Louise Holmes, a former president of the Marietta chapter.

“We will serve anywhere between 1,800 and 2,000 people during these two days,” Holmes said. “We are hoping to make over $20,000 profit from this event, and it will all go back into the community that we serve.”

Connie and David Grimes have been attending the Kiwanis Pancake Days for more than 30 years and understand the importance of civic duty.

“We are in the Marietta Civitan Club and we feel that our organizations should support each other whenever possible,” Connie Grimes said.

The fact that the event provides a meal and a fun atmosphere is a bonus for them, they said.

“We know many of the Kiwanis members and we really enjoy getting to see everyone. It’s almost like a reunion,” Connie said.

“I also especially enjoy the pancakes,” David Grimes added.

Despite Friday’s success, Hontz said there are plenty of pancakes left to be served and expects an even better turnout from the community Saturday.