The club is hosting its annual Pancake Day in the Sylacauga High School cafeteria from 7 a.m. to noon.
Kiwanis Club Pancake Day is the longest-running civic project in Sylacauga, raising an estimated $750,000 over the years benefiting youth in the community.
The big event has even been visited by the original Aunt Jemima.
While the primary beneficiaries have been the youth of Sylacauga, any Kiwanis member will tell you the benefits extend far beyond the money raised.
One member said, “It brings our club members together for a common goal with the planning and preparation being so much fun. Every person has a role and a responsibility and so many talents come to the forefront — from organization and planning to the actual cooking of the pancakes.”
Jim Clark, president of the Kiwanis Club, said another benefit of Pancake Day is the "community reunion" perspective.
One member even quoted a patron as saying, “It’s like a big family reunion. I get to see everybody.”
The cafeteria is filled for hours with parents, grandparents, teens and children eating pancakes and having fun.
The Kiwanis Club has kept the price of the pancakes at just $5, allowing the public to get an "all you can eat" stack dripping with butter and syrup plus lots of hot coffee.
Clark said who would guess that a concoction that was probably cooked up on a hot rock in prehistoric times would still be around in the 21st century to help do so much good for the Kiwanis Club, the community and youth.
The pancake — one of the earliest cereal-based foods — has continued to grow in popularity over the centuries and is used widely as a fundraiser. Pancakes are speedy, inexpensive, simple and delicious.
Known as flapjacks or hoecakes on the frontier, hotcakes in the north, griddlecakes in other parts of the country, crepes in France, blintzes in Russia and as pikelets in Australia, the simple stack of goodness can be found all over the world by many names.
Pancake Day, the major fundraiser for the Kiwanis, gives members a chance to encourage youth leadership and service as well as direct giving to worthy causes.
The youth component of the club, the Key Clubs at B.B. Comer Memorial School and Sylacauga High School and the Nichols Lawson Builders Club, participate in Pancake Day. It is their largest fundraiser, too, with their ticket sales funding scholarships for students.
The day gives Key Club members the opportunity to get hours of service and give real hands-on assistance. Approximately 50 young men and women from the schools will help with the project and receive credit toward community service goals.
The list of organizations and projects that have benefited from the proceeds of the Kiwanis Club Pancake Day includes organizations that work to build community by working with youth.
Specific projects in recent years include the Comer Softball Complex, B.B. Comer Memorial Library, Care House, Boys Club, Blue Bell Station, Comer Museum, Sylacauga Animal Rescue Foundation, Sylacauga Municipal Pool, Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement and the Just Say No to Drugs program.
Kiwanis is a service club founded in 1915. The name is derived from an Indian word meaning roughly "we can share our talents — we meet — we build." In recent years, the motto of "
Clark said the men and women of the Kiwanis of Sylacauga have built a stack of pancakes into a legacy and have the distinction of being a major player in building infrastructure for a "Community of Promise." Many of their efforts, he said, are directed toward addressing the challenges and needs of Sylacauga’s youth.
“You can be a part of that effort by buying a ticket and coming down to Sylacauga High School cafeteria between 7 a.m. and noon Saturday,” Clark said.
Tickets are available from any Kiwanis member or at the B.B. Comer Memorial Library.