Archived Story

Breakfast more than pancakes

Published 12:00am Sunday, February 10, 2013

I like pancakes and sausage. I really do. Just don’t ask me to make or eat either for the next week or 10.

That’s what happens when you make hundreds of plates to fill the bellies of hungry Irontonians and that was certainly the case at Saturday’s Ironton Rotary Club pancake breakfast, an event that is one part fundraiser and one part family reunion.

More than two dozen of my fellow Rotarians and I were up early Saturday morning ensuring that the tradition continues.

Ray “Doc” Payne, decked out in his fluffy white chef’s hat emblazoned with his name and his “The Heat is On” apron, was at his pancake-flipping best with some help from Jay Zornes and Darwin Haynes.

Although too many to name, other Rotarians — some participating in their 15th or 20th breakfast and others there for the first time — were equally busy serving customers, making sausage, filling coffees and just making the event a success.

We even got a visit from my batter-mixing mentor Don Edwards, who not only shared the club’s secret recipe with me but always kept things lively by adding a droplet of food color here and there. Sending “Doc” green or pink flapjacks helps keep his heart pumping.

I am not sure if Don was there just to enjoy some pancakes or make sure that myself, Massie Schemmel and Mandy Medinger were keeping the batter magic going, but we were happy to see him just the same.

For Rotary, the breakfast is a great many things. Certainly it is a primary fundraiser for the longtime civic organization that allows for the club to continue its variety of community projects ranging from sponsoring local scholarships to helping charitable organizations to revitalizing the fountain area in downtown Ironton.

The Rotary pancake breakfast — and other events like it that are hosted by a variety of organizations — is much more.

The breakfast helps bring Rotarians closer together, forging a bond built upon the motto of “Service Above Self.”

It also helps connect the club with the community, dispelling the misconceptions that civic organizations are elitist groups instead of simply your friends and neighbors.

It also helps bring the community itself closer together by offering an affordable, safe and positive environment for food, friendship and fellowship.

Sadly enough, these types of things can be lacking in today’s society.

Our club, in partnership with the businesses who advertise on the placemats and the Boy Scouts who help with the event, look forward to it every year. It is hours of hard work that is made worthwhile because the knowledge that it is all for a great cause.

I may already be looking forward to next year but just don’t ask me to eat pancakes until then.


Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCaldwell_IT.

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