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Kiwanis pancake breakfast dishes up help to charities
Tradition has been around for 50 years in Gainesville
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Kyle Hinnant flips a batch of pancakes Saturday at the Gainesville Civic Center.

Pancakes have long been a staple of the American breakfast menu, and they were being served to the masses Saturday morning at the Gainesville Civic Center.

Kiwanis Club of Gainesville played host to its 50th annual Pancake Breakfast to benefit local children's organizations through the sale of tickets and sponsorships.

"Our mission is to work with children and to improve the lives of children in our community, so we give this money back to the nonprofits in our community to work with children," said Tracy Whitmire, incoming president of Kiwanis Club in Gainesville.

Each year the club donates to different organizations, and Whitmire said last year the event raised about $15,000 for 16 different nonprofit groups.

Several sponsors donated money for Saturday's event so that Kiwanis did not have to fund any of the overhead costs and were able to donate all the revenue.

Whitmire said Saturday's breakfast was expected to raise between $10,000 and $12,000.

"That is a significant amount, especially when you think about being able to turn around and give all of that back," she said. "There's none of that we need to keep as an organization, so we give every bit of that back to the community."

The Pancake Breakfast has become a tradition in Gainesville since it began 50 years ago and many people have been supporters since that time.

"This is such a tradition," Whitmire said. "There are people in this room that have literally been coming to this for 50 years, so it's very much a tradition. It's a foundation of this community."

Hundreds of people filled the Civic Center banquet room throughout the morning including several Hall County officials. Some officials came to campaign for the upcoming elections while others attended to simply enjoy pancakes and donate to the cause.

Of those officials in attendance was Hall County Public Defender Brad Morris.

"I have lots of friends here and this is sort of a Gainesville tradition," Morris said.

"It's a tradition," said Sally Conn of Clermont. "Autumn comes along and the Pancake Breakfast is here. It's a great organization in town and they do a lot of supportive things in the community, so that's one of the reasons I'm here, and a great opportunity to see lots of good friends."

Mary Alice Segars of Gillsville was in attendance with several friends and family and thought the breakfast would be a good way to give back to the community.

"It's for a good cause," she said. "They do a lot for the community."

Segars like many others enjoyed the pancakes topped with sweet maple syrup.

"They're wonderful," she exclaimed. "Very good."

Members of Gainesville High School's Key Club sported their club jerseys as they volunteered to assist with the event. Key Club participates in various service projects throughout the year.

Joy Bauerpand, a senior member of Key Club, said the club attends the Pancake Breakfast each year.

"We do it every year to help out," she said. "It's a lot of fun."

The Pancake Breakfast was a chance for many parents to take a break from their own kitchen and give their children a pancake and sausage breakfast made by somebody else.

Trevor Crow, a student at Chestatee Middle School, said he approved of the chefs' pancake preparations.

"They cooked them correctly," Crow said. "They're very good."

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