The aroma of hotcakes and sausage filled Valparaiso High School’s cafeteria on Saturday during Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club’s famous Pancake Day Breakfast. Beyond the breakfast food, there was a spirit of community as people enjoyed each other’s company while supporting the Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club’s philanthropy.
“Many people spend 10 minutes eating, and 30 minute talking,” Tim Bucher, Chairman of the Pancake Committee, said. “Today, we are giving the community a chance to get together, while raising money to give back to them.”
Pancake Day is held every year on the second Saturday of March.
“We like to call it the unofficial first day of Spring,” Bucher said.
Bucher shared that materials from the 1950s Pancake Day surfaced recently, proving that this tradition is close to 70 years old. According to Bucher, although technology has changed our society since the 1950s, some things will never change.
“I think we are creating a culture of, ‘I’m in my own little world and I don’t need anyone.’ They say people are lonelier than ever before,” Bucher said. “That’s why we need events like this; to bring people together to talk to one another. People are different than screens.”
Bucher created his IT service company, Bucher Technologies, in 2001. He stated that it was his friends who helped him when he was starting out, proving to him that we need one another in order to grow and serve.
“None of us are in a vacuum,” Bucher said. “We all need other people to help us succeed in life.
All morning, a constant stream of hungry people joined the feastivities. Scott Carlson, Pancake Committee Member, stated that about 2,000 people were expected to come and bring in around $25,000. All the ticket sales go right back to the community, and Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club focuses much of their donations to support youth organizations. Some of those organizations who benefit include Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America, and Riley Children’s Hospital. Pancake Day’s popularity meant that the original location, The Moose Lounge, was too small. Carlson pointed out that the high school was generous to allow the use of the cafeteria because of the ideal size and table space.
“This is all about the community supporting the community,” Carlson said. “We have a lot of help; over 400 hours of volunteered hours. A lot of that is coming from Key Club students. The best thing about this is coming together to support the each other.”
Pancake Day does not end with pancakes. There was a kid zone, cotton candy stand, a 50/50 raffle, a T-shirt sale from the Valparaiso Police Department K-9 Unit, and entertainment from local piano students.
“The food is excellent at a low cost,” Lenny Corso, President Elect of Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club.
Corso said that anyone who is compassionate and wants to help those in need are welcome to join the Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club meetings to learn more about the organization. According to Corso, the Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club is the 15th largest chapter in the world, and there is a plethora of opportunities to donate time or skill.
“I’ve met a lot of new friends in Kiwanis,” Corso said. “That’s one of the reasons I joined, besides wanting to help others. Also, the meetings contain information about Valparaiso that is enlightening.”
Corso said meetings are held at Old Town Banquet Center in Valparaiso from 11:30-1:00 every Wednesday.
To learn more about Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club, visit their website at www.valpokiwanis.org.
Valparaiso, IN 46383
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