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Pancake festival includes new features

Mar. 10, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- After the Kiwanis Club of East Huntington closed the books on its final pancake festival at Veterans Memorial Field House two years ago, member Spencer Moore had an idea.

He convinced field house Director Don Ewanus to become a Kiwanian. If club members had to leave the field house, at least they could take the director with them.

Smart move.

Ewanus is pancake chairman for this year's festival, the second one to take place at its current location. And he has brought new blood and new ideas to this year's event.

The 54th annual Pancake Festival will take place at New Baptist Church, 610 28th St., from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 16.

The new ideas include:

A RAFFLE: Someone who shells out a dollar for a ticket will win four brand-new radial tires from Tic Toc Tire.

A TELEPHONE NUMBER: A temporary event line, (304) 840-3780, is up and running for people who have questions.

And, maybe...

CREDIT CARD PURCHASES: Ewanus is patiently working through a regulatory mine field to try and provide the capability to offer purchases by credit card. It may not happen, but if it does, you can be pleasantly surprised.

The club was well pleased last year with its new location. The church has ample off-street parking, and the St. Mary's School of Nursing has once again agreed to open its gates on 28th and 29th streets to provide even more spaces.

The Kiwanians, several of whom have been involved in the festival for decades, seem overwhelmed by its continual success as they make plans for this year's event.

"We expect to serve 12,000 pancakes to 4,000 people this year," Moore says.

President John Kyle says several other groups and friends lend a hand each year to the East Huntington club -- including Boy Scout Troop 63, which meets at Dillon Chapel United Methodist Church in Melissa; the Downtown Huntington Kiwanis Club; the Key Clubs at Huntington, Cabell Midland, and St. Joseph Central high schools; and the Junior ROTC programs at Huntington High and Cabell Midland High.

"We will have about 90 people helping this year," Kyle says.

Organizers say that in many ways, the annual event seems like a family reunion.

"Many people come every year," Moore says. "Some of them say they've never missed one since they started coming."

Tickets -- which provide a meal of pancakes, link sausage, and coffee, milk, pop or water -- are $5 per person in advance and $6 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Chandler's Plywood, Moore's Hardware, C&H Market, Muffler Brothers, Tic Toc Tire, Service Glass, Spurlock's Flowers, and from any East Huntington Kiwanis Club member. "Go" orders will be available.

"It will be the same great food and the same great service and the same low price," says Treasurer Richard Brunton, last year's chairman. "Just with a new man at the top."

The club helps sponsor Terrific Kids Programs at Geneva Kent, Guyandotte, Highlawn and Hite Saunders elementary schools through its Service Leadership Program. It also helps the Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, Huntington Area Food Bank, Huntington City Mission, Salvation Army and the West Virginia Veterans Home.

"We also sponsor scholarship programs for students who qualify through the Key Clubs at Cabell Midland and Huntington High," Ewanus says.

For more information, call the event line or send an email to easthuntingtonkiwanis@mail.com.