The fluffiest and most flavorful of Kiwanis Club traditions is also among its longest running. Later today and again on Saturday morning, the Laurinburg Kiwanis Club will host its annual “Pancake Feast” at the National Guard Armory.
Started in 1954 and held every year since then, the pancake fundraiser has stuck around because of a secret club recipe and because of the good causes it goes to support, said past club president Wilson McCall.
Joined by a number of fellow Kiwanians Thursday afternoon, McCall set up tables, chairs and cooking equipment inside the armory in preparation for the busy day ahead.
One of the club’s most popular events, the Pancake Feast will attract hundreds people to the armory to either dine in or pick up their orders.
“It’s something we get asked about throughout the year,” said Andy Womble, one of the few club members entrusted with the state secret that is the from-scratch pancake recipe. The same recipe Womble will use to cook batch after batch of pancakes this weekend was used nearly 60 years ago at the very first edition of the pancake feast.
So important is adherence to the recipe that one time a few years back the entire pancake feast was imperiled because of some sloppy shopping, said Kiwanis member Bill Phillips.
“One year we were getting ready to kick off and people were lined up all outside the armory, about to come in when somebody came out from the back and said ‘Stop! Stop the people!’”
“I said, ‘What’s wrong?’”
“Somebody had bought the wrong brand of flour.”
In addition the frying pan-sized pancakes – and some question whether there should even need to be anything else – the club also offers juice, coffee and sausage links and patties specially ordered from Greensboro.
“We order 250 pounds of sausage,” said Womble, who first attended the pancake supper as a newlywed with his wife in the early 1970’s.
But it all comes back to the pancakes, which take 20 pounds of flour per batch, said Phillips.
“We give them three in each plate, and anybody who can eat three of them is a pretty good person,” he said.
Gathered outside of the armory Thursday afternoon, the group of four past presidents and current president Jimmy Bennett made a point of emphasizing a fact that is actually printed on each pancake feast ticket: “All of the money we raise goes to support our projects,” Phillips said. “None of it goes to club expenses.”
Included among the projects that the pancake sale will support: In-As-Much food service for school children, the Terrific Kids program, annual Kiwanis college scholarships, Bookships, the Boys and Girls Home, the Key Club at Scotland High School and the Kiwanis T-ball team.
“There is good fellowship in doing this for all of us, but that is why we are doing this,” Bennett said of the Kiwanis projects.
The Laurinburg Kiwanis Club’s annual Pancake Feast will take place at the National Guard Armory starting today at 5 p.m. and continuing until 7 p.m. The feast will continue on Saturday morning from 7-10 a.m.
All plates are $6 and are available for dine in or take out.