PITTSBURG — Fresh warm pancakes and sausage were served for the 70th time by Pittsburg  Kiwanis on Saturday at Memorial Auditorium.
For decades, Pancake Day has filled the community’s bellies, all the while raising funds to support children and communities. This is their biggest fundraiser of the year, which helps Kiwanis support organizations such as Children’s Advocacy Center, Family Resource Center, Habitat for Humanity and many other services in the area.
Going to the event has become a tradition for many people, which Kiwanis President NaZar Saman said he hopes will continue for years to come.
“I’d never miss it,” said Saman, who has been going to Pancake Day for 25 years. “It is wonderful to see all the people come in and support this organization and support kids.
“It’s such a noble cause.”
There are even songs made about the event, such as J.T. Knoll’s “Don’t Put Your Hand on my Pancake,” a spin off of a Peter Alsop song. Other entertainers also have joined in on the event. On Saturday, Phil Carter and Sharon Barone sang and played the piano and trombone players from Pittsburg State University played Christmas Carols. The Pittsburg Youth Carole, Lem Sheppherd, SEK Strings and Charles Cagle also entertained guests.
In recent years, the Kiwanis Pancake Day fell on the same day as Pittsburg Parks and Recreation the Holiday Craft Fair and Santa’s Workshop, and Holiday Zumbathon. People had the opportunity to eat pancakes, go to the craft fair, visit with Santa and then burn calories at the Zumbathon. All of the events were to help out Toys for Tots, Wesley House and Communities in Schools.  
The Kiwanis members band together each year to make the event possible — this includes pancake and sausage making, setting and busing tables and more.
Roy Surridge has been in Kiwanis for 62 years and Pancake Day has been a time where he and his wife Eileen come to volunteer.
Rick Hudson has been in the group since 1996 and has been flipping pancakes for the event for about that long. He said Rodney Odgers, MD, is the “champion flipper” because he’s flipped pancakes for Kiwanis for over 30 years.
“This is a great organization,” Hudson said. “It’s a good community service and you get to hear about all of the great things happening.”
Other members, such as Lakeside K-Kids Madison Covey, Mason Benson and his friend Andrew Smith, are just now getting their start in Kiwanis. The children were taught a lot about community service in the first year of participating in the group, they said.
“I’ve learned that it’s a really great experience to help other people in the community,” Mason said. “It’s a great feeling to serve someone something new or some coffee.
“It’s a great way to get out in community and be a good citizen.”
The children said they were looking forward to caroling at nursing and assisted living homes later in the day.  

Builders Club — The middle school-aged student chapter of Kiwanis — sponsor Maddi Kirby said the children looked forward to Pancake Day and were “excited to help out.”
Circle K member (university chapter) and PSU Elementary Education Student Gracie Lopez said the Pancake Day is a “special event where everyone can get together and benefit the youth in the community.”
“I am so thankful to have such a supportive Kiwanis Club in the community,” she said. “They do some much for the children.”
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.