(WSB photo: Stephanie Halcomb and Patricia Tempinski @ Kiwanis booth today)
Today and for the next two Sundays, while you’re buying fresh food at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, you can buy something else that represents both a good deed and a good breakfast: The Kiwanis Club of West Seattle is boothing at the WSFM, selling tickets to their 66th annual Community Pancake Breakfast on December 1st (at the Masonic Hall, 40th/Edmunds). Only $6 adults, $3 kids – including a free photo with Santa! – and if you just can’t get to the Farmers’ Market, you can buy your tickets online at kiwaniswestseattle.org. Or call 206-938-8032. The adult price is a discount from what you’ll pay that morning at the door ($7). For the story behind the pancake breakfast – including what you get besides pancakes! – read on:
From the official Kiwanis news release:
…The pancakes will be hot off the griddle from 7 am to 11 am, accompanied by orange juice, coffee and a slice of Husky Deli’s premier Canadian ham. As always, the proceeds go toward funding the club’s community-service activities, especially those focused on children and local teens.
It all started 66 years ago when the Kiwanis of West Seattle was seeking funding to support its roster of service projects. The building originally built as a Ford Dealership at 40th SW and Alaska Street was empty, and a grocery store owner from north Seattle moved in with his second market featuring a balcony cafeteria. A Kiwanian himself, he offered use of the cafeteria and its equipment to the local club for a one-morning pancake breakfast.
It was a generous location but had some downsides. The flight of stairs to reach it was a challenge for the handicapped and elderly and the seating capacity was quite limited. So, after two or three years, the breakfast was moved to the newly constructed YWCA building at 40th SW and SW Edmunds. It was more accessible, had a good kitchen and tableware, and three times more seating. Pancakes were served from a counter as patrons arrived through the front door. After several years the building’s use became limited to a pre-school facility and the kitchen, and other facilities, required some heavy cleaning prior to our use.
About that time, Kiwanis chartered its first Key Club at Seattle Lutheran High School, and with the blessing of its administration and the principal who became a Kiwanian; the breakfast was moved into the school’s gym/auditorium, also the site of several Kiwanis dinner-auctions. The room was ample, kitchen well-equipped, but still a bit difficult to get into for wheel chairs, etc.
So, after a few December Breakfasts, a couple of Kiwanis members who also were Masonic Lodge members suggested moving the breakfast to the Alki Masonic Lodge at 4736 40th Ave. SW for use of their ground-level banquet hall.
It proved to be a perfect fit; no steps required, real dishes, cups and silverware, great kitchen and refrigeration, dishwashing equipment and generous seating space. The breakfast event has been held there for over a dozen years on the first Saturday of December. Guests are served at the table.
The Kiwanis has sought each year to improve the event. Scouts of Troop 284, bolstered by an enthusiastic turnout of parents and leaders, are joined by Key Clubbers from local high schools to serve and buss tables and perform other tasks to make the event a success.
Added features include a raffle drawing, vendors selling holiday wares, collection site for new, unwrapped toys for the Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” and free photos with Santa for kids under 12.
“Best of all,” declared club president Mike LaFranchi, “This annual Community Breakfast is a prime opportunity to renew lifelong friendships and get to know newcomers to our historic neighborhood.”