The grills won't be running but pancakes will still be on the menu for the Fort Scott Kiwanis Club's biggest fundraiser of the year.
Organizers of the annual event have chosen to experiment with a new way of serving hotcakes during the club's 91st annual feed, scheduled to take place from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Scottish Rite Temple, 110 S. Main St. The popular community social event raises money for several area youth-related organizations, programs and groups, as well as schools and charitable events in Bourbon County.
Kiwanian Ralph Carlson said the hope is that this different method will save time for organizers, as far as prepping and cooking, and for patrons in terms of waiting in line.
"This year, we're going to try a different approach and pre-cook the pancakes and heat them," Carlson said. "It will save waiting time for customers. Sometimes we have really long lines going all the way out to the sidewalk. This should make it more convenient for customers. It's an experiment we're trying."
Club Treasurer Phil Gorman said the group conducts three major fundraisers each year, with the pancake feed being the "major one." The club also operates a concession stand at the annual Fort Scott Airport Day event and a concession stand at the USD 234 elementary end-of-school carnival.
The club receives support from several area organizations and businesses, Fort Scott High School Key Club members, an affiliate of the Kiwanis Club, and other volunteers who donate time to work at the meal by preparing, cooking and serving food.
The club will get a boost this year from 32 corporate sponsors.
"They're (sponsors) our lifeblood," Gorman said.
Carlson said organizers will be bringing back musical entertainment that had been part of past events. Carolyn Tucker will play Christmas music on the keyboard from 5 p.m. through the event's conclusion.
Gorman said it was difficult to estimate, but he figures about 1,200 people were served at last year's meal. The club netted just under $4,000, which was its financial goal.
Tickets for the feed, which cost $5, can be purchased from any Kiwanis member or at the door the day of the feed. Children 5 years of age and younger will be served free of charge. Patrons will be served pancakes, sausage and their choice of juice or coffee.
Carlson said customers can also buy extra sausage for a minimal charge.
The Fort Scott Kiwanis Club is part of a global organization of volunteers that works each year to provide funding for worthwhile local and international projects. Money raised through the pancake feed has been used to fund a variety of youth-related educational needs, activities and events.