Pancake tradition continues for 89th year

Friday, December 10, 2010
(Michael Pommier/Tribune)

Since 1921, the Fort Scott Kiwanis Club has been raising funds for local youth while bringing the community together.

For the 89th consecutive year, the club held its annual pancake feed Thursday at the Scottish Rite Temple in downtown Fort Scott.

Club President Bob Eckles said the event has become a tradition, not only in Fort Scott but throughout the region. Groups in Pittsburg and Iola also have long-standing traditions of pancake feeds.

Members of the Fort Scott Pioneer Kiwanis Club sit together while enjoying pancakes during Thursday's pancake feed put on by the Fort Scott Kiwanis Club. This year's event marks the 89th consecutive pancake feed for the Fort Scott Kiwanis Club.(Michael Pommier/Tribune)

"I can't believe that it's been going on for 89 years," Eckles said. "It's been a long-standing project with the club."

Even with the breakfast rush coming in a little higher than normal, the numbers still aren't what they used to be. According to Eckles, the morning used to be the busiest time of the event when Western Insurance was still located downtown. He added that this year's attendance seemed to be comparable to last year's, although final attendance numbers were not available as of press time.

Eckles said the event does more for the community than just feed those attending homemade flapjacks. It also serves as a place for the community to get together, talk about their families and catch up with friends they may not see as often as they used to. He added that the pancake feed is also the one event in which nearly every member of the Fort Scott Kiwanis Club is represented and joins in the fellowship.

"It's our club at (its) best," Eckles said.

One thing that was different about this year's event, Eckles said, was the lack of a chairman to organize it. But since so many members look forward to -- and participate in -- the feed every year, all the members know what needs to be done.

"Things have been going pretty much without a hitch," he said. "Everybody has pitched in. There are members that know the routine."

The goal of the pancake feed is to raise money for several local organizations that work with youngsters in the community. Eckles said the club received a lot of help this year from 39 corporate sponsors. He said the financial goal for the event was to raise $4,000.

Local youth-based organizations that receive assistance from the Fort Scott Kiwanis Club include:

* Fort Scott Public Schools Indigent Fund

* Fort Scott Middle School Football

* Fort Scott High School Boosters

* Fort Scott Community College Endowment Scholarship

* Key Club State Convention

* Kiwanis International Foundation

* Boys' State

* Relay for Life

* The Beacon

* Eugene Ware - Ready, Set, Read

* Fort Scott Middle School Project Art

* Fort Scott High School Scholarship

* Key Club national convention

* Kiwanis State Foundation

* Hurricanes Swim Team

* 4-H Convention

* Little League Baseball

* Christmas with Santa