Local Kiwanis Club members will serve thousands of pancakes this weekend as the 59th annual Pancake and Sausage Feast is held.
Scheduled for Friday night and Saturday morning, the event helps raise money to support the many projects that are part of the Kiwanis International organization.
Locally, funds are utilized to help support the young people in the community through recognitions and scholarships.
“Most of our funds are spent locally to the help recognize and support the young people in our community,” Cliff Ireland, Kiwanis member, said. “We support all of our high schools with scholarship funds for deserving high school seniors, support the Key Clubs (a youth oriented Kiwanis Club) located in most of our high schools, Back Pack Buddies, Terrific Kids in our elementary schools, Fitness Renaissance, Chamber Coat Closet, Civic Center Class Acts and many others.”
According to Ireland, Kiwanis is an international, coeducational service club founded in 1915 in Detroit, Mich. It is headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind. and is found in more than 80 nations and geographic areas. Membership in Kiwanis and its family of clubs is more than 600,000 members strong.
Each year, Kiwanis clubs raise more than $100 million and report more than 18.5 million volunteer hours to strengthen communities and serve children.With a local budget of nearly $25,000, Ireland said the club works hard to raise money with the annual fundraiser — the pancake and sausage feast.
“Our budget each year is around $22,000 to $24,000, so you can see we have to raise a substantial sum in order to fund our various projects throughout the year,” Ireland explained.
Ireland said the organization’s tag line is Serving the Children of the World and the group mission statement is “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time.”
“Although we have an international theme, no two Kiwanis clubs are the same,” Ireland said. “Each tailors its efforts locally to meet the needs of the communities in which they are located.”
Through the years, Ireland said the Clinton and Sampson County communities have been generous in the donations that have been given to the Kiwanis Club.
“The community has been very generous in their donations and support of the Kiwanis Club of Clinton,” Ireland said. “Our strategy has been to have only one major fund raiser (the Pancake and Sausage Feast) so that our Kiwanis Club is not constantly asking local businesses and organizations for their support. Just once a year and they have always responded generously.”
Attending the annual dinner and breakfast is a huge part of helping the Kiwanis organization, but according to Ireland, one of the best ways to help the Kiwanis Club of Clinton is to become a member.
“New members bring new ideas and new enthusiasm to an organization,” Ireland shared. “We currently have members from our largest employers in Sampson County, individuals from both county and city government, individuals from both of our school systems plus the community college, individuals from our faith based organizations, individuals from our law enforcement agencies and our legal system, individuals from our business community and individuals from our retirement community. It is a very diverse group of men and women but there is plenty of room for more individuals to contribute.”
This year’s feast will be held Friday, Feb. 24, from 5-7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 25, from 6:30-9:30 a.m. at Sunset Avenue Elementary School cafeteria. Tickets are available at the door. Plates can be eaten in or taken out.
For anyone interested in becoming a member of Kiwanis, they meet on each Thursday at noon at the Piggly Wiggly dining area upstairs.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.