Open Forum: Pancakes to help the community

Posted: March 19, 2013

Recently I sat in a luncheon meeting with 50 or so community members as we gave away more than $12,000! I couldn’t help but notice how “matter-of-factly” the group voted to give away thousands of dollars to more than a dozen community charities.

This group must have understood the words I heard often from my mother: “If not for the grace of God, there go I.” Over more than nine decades this group has given away more than a million dollars to those in need.

At these weekly luncheons and through this procedure, they have given away so much that such a casual vote to signal a multi-thousand-dollar contribution to affect so many lives in our community may be explicable.

There is hardly a charity in our area that has not been touched by this generous group — day-care centers, food banks, medical clinics, youth clubs, rehab centers, recreational facilities, homeless shelters, parks and schools. I am honored and humbled to be a member of this group, the Kiwanis Club of Winchester.

Kiwanis is not alone. Our community is blessed with many “quiet treasures,” such as Rotary, Lions and countless residents in volunteer organizations. Not just their money, but these community leaders take time from their jobs and families to give hours and hours of their time to help others. The dollars given away are but a reflection and result of these selfless hours of effort.

For the past 50 years, Winchester Kiwanis’ “life blood” that fuels the community assistance and allows the dollars to flow to those less fortunate is our semi-annual community Pancake Day, such as the one we will hold on Saturday, April 6, all day long from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

More than 150 volunteers from Winchester Kiwanis, Key clubs, Circle K clubs, NW Works, and Salvation Army will serve food and fun to more than 5,000 folks who will gather for pancakes, sausage, fellowship and community.

And, as we have for more than 50 years, we will return more than $25,000 to folks in our community who need help because of personal misfortune.

Please support Kiwanis Pancake Day and help those in our community who need us all. You would be surprised how many children $5 worth of pancakes can help!

We will be at the War Memorial Building in Jim Barnett Park. You can’t miss us; we will be the ones having all the fun! But it won’t be the same it without you!

Stephen J. Locke is a local Kiwanian.