After 20 years, Alcoa Kiwanians know their annual pancake breakfast is as much a community event as it is a fundraiser. The funds raised also help the community through the many Kiwanis programs the monies support.
Alcoa Kiwanis president Carl Sten said it is this support from the community and from the International House of Pancakes restaurant that make the annual event successful. The 20th annual breakfast on May 7 drew more than 800 people.
“The pancake breakfast raised $20,633, which is a record, besting last year by a couple of hundred dollars,” Sten said.
Sten said the Alcoa Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast has “very definitely” grown into a much anticipated community event. “We get tremendous support from the community. The thing that really makes the breakfast go is that we get good support from the community, and we get really good support from IHOP,” he said. “They provide all material for the breakfast at no cost to us. That is a very big donation, and it really makes it. Our cost to do this breakfast is very, very low, so almost all we make goes back to community.”
The club president said participation by club members was great.
“I would say we have roughly 70 members and probably 65 participated in the breakfast. We have very, very good participation by the club in the breakfast, plus we have support from the satellite clubs we have in the high schools,” Sten said.
Sten said the pancake breakfast gets support from satellite clubs at Alcoa High School, William Blount High School, Maryville College, Carpenters Grade Middle School and Union Grove Middle School. “We had two or three kids show from each of those organizations,” he said. “It really is an inclusive effort by the whole Kiwanis organization.”
Sten thanked the Area 15 Special Olympics for supporting the breakfast. “For the second year in row, Earl Anderson from Special Olympics was the top ticket seller. They sold $1,675 total,” Sten said. “That group really gets behind us. That is what we’re all about, helping kids.”
Cookie Crowson, assistant director of Maryville Alcoa Blount County Parks and Recreation said Special Olympics athletes and coaches are asked to sell tickets because Special Olympics benefits financially when Alcoa Kiwanis makes a donation back to Area 15 Special Olympics. “Earl Anderson, who is an adult athlete, really enjoys selling pancake tickets. He sold $750 worth himself. That is the most he has ever sold, and they recognized him for it. He always takes that very seriously.”
Sten said after what few expenses incurred are paid, the money raised goes back to the community. “We give scholarships at area high schools. This year we wrote four $1,000 scholarships - two to Alcoa High School and two to William Blount High School. We have a scholarship to Maryville College we support for $3,000 that the college distributes,” he said. “There is a Dean Stone scholarship for $1,000 and a young lady from Alcoa High School won that this year.”