The Elizabethton Kiwanis Club for the 49th year will host its annual pancake breakfast to benefit local youth through the sale of tickets. “All of our projects revolve around youth,” said Kiwanian Richard Barker, who heads up the breakfast. Barker has been participating in the breakfast since he was a teenager and his father, the late Sam Barker, helped with the breakfasts. “That was when they were being held outside under a tent downtown at the corner of Elk Avenue and Pine Street,” he said. The pancake breakfasts were moved to the First Methodist Church Fellowship Hall in 1982. “The folks at the church have been quite generous and accommodating, and we’ve been able to help them some through the purchase of some kitchen equipment,” Barker said.
The club sponsors a Key Club at Elizabethton High School and K Clubs in each of the three elementary schools in the city. “We have the Kiwanis Park on West G Street and Carter Blvd., and last year we did an Arbor Day Special at the park for the kids,” Barker said. The club also helps sponsor the 4-H program in the Carter County and Elizabethton schools, is a sponsor for the Imagination Library, and sponsors the Best-All-Around Boy and Girl Award at Elizabethton High School.
“Our mission is to work with youth and to improve the lives of children in our community, so we give this money back to the youth in our community,” Barker added.
The breakfast is currently the club’s only fundraiser. “Ideally, we like to make about $2,000 from the breakfast, but last year we only made $1,500,” Barker said, noting that the expense of the breakfast is about $1,000. He said the sausage for the breakfast accounts for about of a third of the expense.
The club prepares for about 500 persons, about 100 of which are carry-outs. Barker’s grocery list for the breakfast will be about 100 pounds of pancake mix, several pounds of sausage, in addition to syrup and butter. Sugar-free syrup is also available. Coffee, juice and milk are also on the menu.
The pancake breakfast has become a tradition in Elizabethton since it began 49 years and many people have been supporters since that time. “Many of the people who will be there Saturday have been coming for years, so it’s very much a tradition. Some after they eat stick around and talk for an hour,” Barker said.
Kiwanian Don Tetrick has attended and worked every breakfast. “Last year he was able to come for only a brief time and he took up tickets. We are not sure that he will be able to come this year, but we are hoping he will,” said Barker. “He used to make all the pancakes.”
Barker said the breakfast is a lot of work, but noted it was a lot of fun, too. “It’s a chance for many parents to take a break from their own kitchen and give their children a pancake and sausage breakfast made by somebody else. It’s also a way to treat themselves,” he said.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance from a Kiwanian or at the door on the day of the breakfast. The serving time Saturday is 7 to 10:30 a.m.