Pancakes and more are on Kiwanis’ menu

Kiwanian Dennis Fjeld delivers a plate of pancakes. (Photos/Vikingland Kiwanis Club.)

Nancy Edmonds Hanson

As autumn peeks around the corner, more than falling leaves are on the menu. The pancakes will soon be flipping at Lutheran Church of Christ the King, where the Vikingland Kiwanis Club hosts its annual Pancakes Galore and More fund-raiser.

The griddles will be sizzling and Kiwanis volunteers will be hopping Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16 and 17, at 1900 14th St. S., the church kitchen where the 51-year-old service organization has held its annual fund-raiser for decades. The breakfast fare will be served from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. The check comes to $8 for teens and adults; children 7 through 12 are $5, and meals for 6 and under are free.

Pancakes Galore has been a big part of the service club’s annual calendar for more years than its current president, Jane Amble, can remember. “Vern Nolting got it going decades ago,” she says. Nolting, now retired, chaired the breakfast for much of its history until its current head flapjack flipper, Ivan Johnson, took over the project

But the hearty breakfast is only part of the club’s major fund-raiser, says president Jane Amble. The accompanying silent auction brings in nearly as much cash each year. Carlene Paulson chairs that side of the event. Auction lots include some donations from area businesses, including gift cards, but also spotlight a vast array of treasures donated by members and friends – gift baskets of treats, family heirlooms, antiques and other items, often uncovered during downsizing adventures.

Vikingland Kiwanis members provide much of the chefing in the kitchen, but they have a good deal of help from the Circle K Club they sponsor at Concordia College and the Moorhead High School Key Club. The younger volunteers, says Amble, provide much of the legwork that keeps the flapjack feed running smoothly. They help from beginning to end, setting up and finally taking down tables, cleaning and then resetting them after each wave of diners have eaten their fill, and pouring endless streams of coffee.

Their presence, too, highlights the focus of Kiwanis’ charitable work: children and youth. Amble explains that proceeds from Pancakes Galore are earmarked for “anything to do with kids.” After all, the worldwide service organization’s motto is “changing the world – one child and one community at a time.”

That includes Kiwanis International’s main undertaking of the moment, the Elimination Project, through which clubs around the world have virtually eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus.

Here at home, Vikingland Kiwanis supports a broad range of initiatives to make lives better for the young. The club has made a four-year pledge toward completion of the new inclusive children’s playground in Southwest Regional Park and support GiGi’s Playhouse for children with Down syndrome. They also have established the Reinhold Utke Scholarship in honor of the late member and principal of North Junior High.

“We do lots of volunteering, too,” Amble continues. Members share their hours at the Dorothy Day and Ruby’s food pantries, Churches United for the Homeless and the Ronald McDonald House.

Among the club’s most far-reaching projects, the president says, is its link with its affiliated Circle K and Key Club youth service organizations and establishment of the K-Kids Club they sponsor for fourth graders at S.G. Reinertson School.

“Studies have shown that if you learn to give back at a young age, it affects your life forever,” Amble says.

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