Come and Get ’Em!

Whether your preference is berries, chocolate chips or just plain syrup, you can top your pancakes with either — or all — at the 53rd annual Kiwanis Club of La Jolla Pancake Breakfast. With all-you-can-eat flapjacks and sausages, the community event will run 7:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 23 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

Other activities include music, face painting, bounce houses, arts and crafts, and more. The cost is $10 for adults (kids under age 10 eat for free).

The event is themed “flapjacks and families” and will offer food and fun for all ages. “This annual event is Kiwanis’ time to honor the community with a chance to get together with friends and family for pancakes and fun,” said Kiwanian Don Hodges. “It is a great chance to enjoy our fine weather and casually meet up with friends and neighbors. I always see several acquaintances at the event, aside from Kiwanians.”

The contagious joy of the youngest guests is also a highlight for Kiwanian Bob Steck, who said, “I love seeing the kids smile so much, especially as they get in line and realize they can top the pancakes with as much syrup or blueberries as they want. It makes them so happy, which makes us happy.”

He added, “We’re just trying to bring people together and have a good time. … I view the pancake breakfast as our gift to the community. We generally break even and that’s the goal, but it’s a way to get people out to a fun event.”

For Trenton Bonner, who chaired the event in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and who continues to volunteer, the event is “a lot of work, but a lot of fun. We work with local Boy Scouts to get everything set up and running smoothly, and businesses are asked to donate items for the raffle, like gift certificates and stays at local hotels.”

But the real reward for Bonner is seeing the 800-1,000 people each year, and saying hello as they make their way through the pancake line. “People from the community come out and I like talking to them. I also like walking around, talking to people to make sure they’re having a good time. We work to create a great event, especially when I make the pancakes,” he said, adding that he sometimes adds a little sugar or buttermilk to the pancake batter for the WOW-factor.

Part of a worldwide fellowship aimed at supporting the children of the world, the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla has events through the year to raise money, such as the Junior Olympics, and the La Jolla Half Marathon. The Pancake Breakfast tends to break even, it’s more a community party than a fundraiser, and Hodges explained, “Our big fundraiser is the La Jolla Half Marathon. All of the net proceeds from the marathon go right back into the community as charitable grants to the more than 60 organizations that the Kiwanis Club supports the following year.”

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