‘Batter’ up for children

Maryville Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast raises $17,000

Saturday, Nov. 14, was a day of pancakes, sausages, face-painting, crafts and laughter as the Maryville Kiwanis Club held their 15th annual pancake breakfast.

About 1,000 people turned out and helped raise $17,000 during the event held at the Maryville High School commons area.

President-elect Robert Russell said planners were happy with the turnout. “We had around 1,000 people, which was a little bit more than the previous year,” Russell said.

Russell said the money raised was approximately $17,000, which includes the tickets sold by the Kiwanis youth organizations at area schools. Maryville and Heritage high schools Key Clubs and Maryville and Heritage middle school Builders Clubs, helped at the event and by selling tickets before the breakfast.. “We also had the Art Club at Maryville High School helping with the children’s area, face-painting, story telling and dramatic reading for the children,” Russell said.

The president-elect also thanked the cafeteria staff for letting them use the kitchen and for those employees who volunteered. “The main things is the International House of Pancakes provided all the pancake batter and sausage and had two supervisors who worked with us for free the whole time,” Russell said.

The pancake breakfast is one of three fundraising efforts for the Maryville Kiwanis Club, the other two being the spring golf tournament and the selling grocery certificates for area grocers.

“Since we give away about $90,000 a year, it’s absolutely crucial we have these success with fundraisers,” Russell said.

The club donates about $60,000 to Imagination Library each year to give children throughout Blount County a free book each month. Another $15,000 helps students attend the club’s annual youth leadership camp at Camp Wesley Woods in the summer and they also support another 45 youth-focused organizations in Blount County. “People know we do those as a regular thing and a lot of the same people support us year-in and year-out,” Russell said. “We could always use more boosters and sponsors for our events as they come up.”

Russell said the Kiwanis International’s focus and the Maryville club’s focus is helping youth. “Our motto is we are an international organization of volunteers with the goal to change the world one child and one community at a time,” he said. “We’re always looking for new members for Kiwanis.”

Anyone would like to know more about Kiwanis or would like join can contact Russell at 865-384-7092.

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