Pancake Day returns Tuesday, with changes

Rich Flowers, Athens Daily Review, Texas
·2 min read

May 1—Kiwanis Pancake Day is one of Athens' longest lasting traditions, but that doesn't mean there haven't been changes along the way. The 2021 version is 6 a.m to 8 p.m, Tuesday, May 4 at the First United Methodist Church fellowship hall. Tickets are $6 pre-sale and $7 at the door.

"I think we may be surprised at the turnout, because people want to get back to normal," said Jeaneane Lilly, Athens Kiwanis President.

Pancake Day Committee Chairman Thomas Faulk said they're doing things a little differently this year in the interest of COVID-19 safety. What hasn't changed is their offering of a delicious meal for just a few bucks.

The experienced cooks will be set up in a tent outside the building this year. Set-up is taking place on Saturday and will be a hard job as the Kiwanians are minus the help they usually get from other organizations like the Trinity Valley Community College athletes.

Lilly said 61 club members have volunteered to help with Pancake Day this year.

"I'm really proud of this club," she said.

The fundraiser's usual first Tuesday in March slot was a casualty of the ice storm that hit Athens in February. Ice damaged pipes at First United Methodist Church, where the event was to be held prompted the postponement.

The fellowship hall holds 552people. For safety, seating will belimited to 250.

Rather than have someone serving orange juice and milk it will be dispensed in disposable containers. Syrup will also be from individual containers, rather than poured from a bottle.

Ad sales and program sales had been going slowly this year, but have picked up considerably since more people are confident the meal will actually take place, Faulk said.

Drive-up sales have been added this year. The customer will be presented a bag with the pancake and sausage, plastic-ware and syrup.

Customers will look for sign directing them where to pick-up their meals.

Pancake day proceeds are used for Kiwanis projects during the year, such as scholarships for graduating seniors and improvements to Kiwanis Park. Through the years, they've changed locations from the National Guard Armory to the Cain Center. The event moved to First United Methodist Church after the Cain Center closed for renovation. Other changes include the hours for the event, which began as a pancake supper and they kind of grills used for the cooking.

The Athens Kiwanis Club turned 92 years old in December. Pancake Day has been around for more than 65 years.