MASSENA - Its a sure sign of spring when the Massena Rotary Club taps their maple syrup drum and fire up their grills readying for their annual pancake day at the J.W. Leary Junior High School.
March 29 is this years coming out party for the citizens of Massena. The club is celebrating 54 years of flipping pancakes for charity.
A legion of about 80 plus volunteers - including the Massena Rotarians, their spouses and families along with student groups from Massena Central Schools – will mix batter, grill pancakes and sausage, pour coffee and orange juice for an estimated 1,600 hungry people.
This breakfast is a well-oiled machine, Rotary Club President Susan Bellor said. Its all hands on deck - and then some - to make this annual event work. Everyone involved with our Rotary Club volunteer side-by-side with students from Massena Centrals sports teams and clubs, which are a huge and valuable resource helping out as a community service.
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes preparing for approximately 1,600 children and adults.
Chairperson Jim Venier has had his hands full coordinating and leading the team, ordering food in grand quantities, decanting 60 gallons of locally produced maple syrup, setting up and cleaning up for the event and getting tickets pre-sold out in the community.
For the first time, the Rotary Club is offering free shuttles from the Massena Central High School to the Junior High. Attendees can park at the high school and ride a free bus shuttle right to the front door of the junior high and back. It is the hope of the club to eliminate congestion surrounding the junior high - especially at peak times.
A huge and very important part of the pancake day is the silent auction led by Phil and Jackie Sheehan. Hundreds of items donated through the generosity of local merchants and artisans will be on display in the gym at the J.W. Leary Junior High School and serves as a major portion of the proceeds which are directed toward local charities.
The annual pancake day is the biggest fundraiser for the Massena Rotary Club who last year contributed over $30,000 to local organizations.
The breakfast runs from 6 a.m. – 1 p.m. March 29, with the silent auction hours ending at noon, at the J. W. Leary Junior High School, Massena.
Breakfast includes pancakes with local maple syrup, sausages, orange juice and beverage. Ther cost for adults is $7 / $6 presale; youth is $5 / $4 presale; and children under 5 are free.
All proceeds benefit the Massena Rotary Clubs community projects. Tickets are available pre-sale from any Rotarian and outlets throughout the community.