Volunteers will serve up pancakes to benefit community

MARIETTA – Once a year, hungry visitors pack into First Congregational Church to enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes and leave feeling satisfied.

Of course, it can be argued whether the satisfaction is from a full belly or from knowing they have helped to raise money to benefit the children of the community.

“Kiwanis Club is really kid-oriented,” said president Tom Hushion. “This event typically raises around $20,000 in two days – that’s pretty good. And all the money stays in the community.”

The event has been so successful the goal has been increased to $22,000, according to president-elect and Pancake Days chair Chad Gardner.

“I think it will be feasible to reach that this year. We have really been promoting the event more and reaching out with social media,” he said.

The 60th Kiwanis Pancake Days is 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. today, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at First Congregational Church, 318 Front St., Marietta.

Tickets can be purchased from any Kiwanis member or at Peoples News. They are $5 in advance, $8 at door, children under 5 eat free with ticket holder.

Gardner, 28, has experience with fundraising as the Relay For Life specialist for Washington County and has been involved with Kiwanis since joining Builders Club at his Cambridge middle school.

“I also worked with Key Club and then Circle K as a student at Marietta College where we were sponsored by the local Kiwanis Club and helped them with a lot of service projects,” Gardner said.

The goal of Kiwanis Club is to serve the children of the world. Gardner was drawn to giving back to his community as well as the global outreach, citing the Eliminate Project, which helps to eradicate maternal and neonatal tetanus.

A big attraction is the country store raffle for items donated by the community and more than 80 themed baskets featuring The Ohio State Buckeyes, camping, Doc McStuffins, Vera Bradley, The Big Bang Theory, Duck Dynasty, books, entertainment and cooking.