Maryville’s Annual Pancake Breakfast. The breakfast for champions of children’s programs will be 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, at Maryville High School. Tickets are $5 with children ages 10 and under admitted free.
The Maryville Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast benefits the children of Blount County through programs like Imagination Library and Kiwanis Leadership Camp. Children are the reason Kiwanis Club members work so hard. In the past few years, the youth of the area have also taken a role in helping the pancake breakfast raise needed funds.
Members of area Builders Clubs at middle schools and Key Clubs in the high schools are showing up to lend a hand. The common denominator between the Key, Builders, and Kiwanis clubs is a dedication to service and making the community better.
Kelly Beason and John Marsh are the faculty advisors to the Heritage High School Key Club. “We help organize charity events and volunteer work. We try to promote a more compassionate approach to life, to seeing the world and people without judgment, to empathizing with their situation and internalize that thinking into what can we do to help those in need,” Beason said.
Beason said he and Marsh concentrate on giving students opportunities to go out and help people in need who can’t necessarily pay them back. “As soon as kids see what this feels like, it is one of those things that is a life-changer. If we get them volunteering here, hopefully they’ll become more active in the community,” Beason said.
Beason praised Robert Russell for his work organizing the pancake breakfast and for helping their high school’s Key Club. “He’s been very gracious in helping us. Maryville Kiwanis Club sponsors us and helps us out, and so we help them out,” he said.
The Heritage High School Key Club members are selling tickets to the pancake breakfast and a portion of the ticket they sell go to the club to fund some of their events. “We take field trips to volunteer at Knox Rescue Ministry and provide meals for between 100 and 125 clients,” Beason said.
Serving in the community isn’t always free, the duo teaches the students. “Even with volunteer work, you have to get funds to get resources to help people,” Beason said.
About 10 to 12 students from Heritage High School are expected to get up early Saturday morning to help at the breakfast.
“We have on average about 40 active members, depending on what day of the week,” said Beason. “We try to set things up every week at different times. We do things all through the week so everyone can participate.”
Members from area Builders Clubs will also be pitching to help. Patsy Russell and Jaynee March are the co-advisors to the Heritage Middle School club.
Russell, whose husband Robert Russell is spearheading the breakfast for the Kiwanis, said the younger teens have jobs that are fairly simple. “The middle school Builders Clubs are door greeters,” Patsy Russell said. “We smile, open the door, say ‘Good morning,’ and then direct guest down the hall.”
Patsy has five students who are going to be there at 8 a.m. to work for an hour. “Eagleton and Maryville Middle clubs will also take shifts.”
Patsy Russell said the whole motto for Builders Clubs is teaching leadership through public service. In addition to experiencing events like this pancake breakfast and helping Maryville Kiwanis, Heritage Middle Builders Club members also collect Box Tops, participate in a Go Green campaign at school and help with the Toys for Blount County program organized by the Junior Service League. “We’ll be collecting phone books for recycling and other activities. We have a different chair and those chairs have committees,” she said. “The big thing is, they learn leadership skills.”