Kiwanians’ annual Pancake Days is from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday — pancakes and sausage and all the fixin’s
Paris Kiwanis Club members Gary Pirtle (on the truck) and Richard Culver unload 2,250 pounds of pancake mix in preparation for this weekend’s annual Kiwanis Pancake Days at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds. Pirtle is the Pancakes Day chairman for his 27th straight year.
This coming weekend marks the 62nd anniversary of the Paris Kiwanis Club annual Pancake Days.
Club members will be serving their famous pancakes, sausage, breakfast drinks and all the fixin’s from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 1-2 at the Community Exhibits Building at the Paris/Lamar County Fairgrounds.
Price is $5 in advance, or $6 at the door. No charge for children 5 and under.
Tickets are available from any Kiwanis member or at the following locations:
- City Electric, 1480 NW 19th St.
- Lamar Electric, 1785 N.Main St.
- Lamar National Bank, 200 S. Collegiate Drive
- First Federal Community Bank, 630 Clarksville St.
- First Federal Community Bank, 3010 NE Loop 286
- Paris ISD Aministration Building, 1920 Clarksville St.
The club’s annual pancake budget is about $12,000.
Gary Pirtle is Pancake Days chairman for the 27th straight year, dating back to 1987.
“We will mix up 2,250 pounds of Morrison pancake mix. We will use 240 gallons of milk. We will cook 2,052 pounds of Owens Country Sausage. We will hand out around 19,000 servings of butter. We will serve 265 gallons of orange juice, 3,000 to 4,000 cups of coffee, and 27,000 ounces of soft drinks,” Pirtle says.
Kiwanis Pancakes Days in Paris started in 1951 with 58 club members. They served 350 people and raised $235.
Now, the Paris Kiwanis Club has 130 members.
In 2008, Pancake Days broke the 6,000 mark, serving 6,090 people over two days, and it gets larger every year.
Consider the attendance for the past three years:
- 6,776 in 2010
- 7,377 in 2011
- 7,608 in 2012
Paris Kiwanis Club members will put in over 1000 man hours in preparation for and during Pancake Days.
The club also provides local businesses and residents with flags that are displayed on six holiday weekends each year – 700 flags in all. The cost to have a flag placed in a yard is $30 per flag per year.
Proceeds from those two fund-raisers go for worthy causes:
- Each year, the Paris Kiwanis Club awards more than $10,000 in scholarships to Lamar County high school seniors who are active in Key Club activities.
- The club partnered with the Reno Kiwanis Club, Lamar County Electric, and First Federal Community Bank to sponsor an anti-bullying campaign in every elementary school in Lamar County and Detroit. The campaign is administered by “The Character Network” at no cost to the schools.
- The Paris Kiwanis Club brought Dolly Parton’s “Imagination Library” to Lamar County. This program provides an age-appropriate book to every child in Lamar County from birth to the child’s fifth birthday. Children can be signed up for the program free of charge by a parent. This program promotes early childhood development and encourages parents to read to their child/children, which better prepares the child/children for kindergarten and school.
- The Paris Kiwanis Club helps sponsor numerous other events that help local children, such as helping sponsor scholarships so that intermediate school children can attend Sky Ranch, Project Graduation events at area schools, and the Boys and Girls Club of Paris.
- The Paris Kiwanis Club recognized the needs of home-bound Lamar County residents who were unable to get out of their homes because of being confined to a wheelchair. Theclub now has two teams of ramp buildiers who build ADA-certified wheelchair ramps for use by those residents. These ramps are built at no cost to the resident and give them freedom that some of them have not enjoyed in years. To date, the Paris Kiwanis Club’s two teams have built more than 50 ramps for qualified residents in Lamar County.
Current officers of the club are Jerry Williams, president; Thom Callaway, president-elect; Claudia McKinney, vice president; Peggy Hawkes, secretary; Karen McDowell, treasurer; and Johnny Williams, immediate past president.
Paris Kiwanis Club is also the home club of Lynn Patterson, district governor of Texas-Oklahoma Kiwanis District Division 32.
The club meets each Tuesday at noon at the Paris Junior College ballroom. Guests are welcome.
By CHARLES RICHARDS