Marshall V. King
Dining A La King
Goshen Salvation Army’s Pancake Day doesn’t just feed people on one day.
It helps feed them year round.
On Friday, Nov. 22, more than 2,000 people will gather at 1013 N. Main St. to eat pancakes and sausage. Some will get orders to go.
Tickets are $5 in advance from volunteers or the Salvation Army or $6 the day of. Either way it's a bargain.
The meal has grown, but for the 50th year, people will eat pancakes to help a great cause.
I saw the banners for years before I put a fork to my mouth. I had no idea this was such a cool event.
The Elkhart County Exchange Club makes pancakes. Thousands of them. Members of that service club squirt pancake batter onto clean griddles. With large hearts and big spatulas, they help year after year as they have for decades.
People from Community Church of Waterford cook the sausage.
Goshen Noon Kiwanis members serve the pancakes and sausage. As a Kiwanian, I’m one of those who will hover over you goading you to eat one more pancake or piece of sausage.
Goshen Rotarians will clean up after you.
VFW members help you find a place to park.
We all help so that people who come in from the dark morning chill can sit together at long tables and eat breakfast. Local businesses sponsor tables and leave swag for eaters to take.
As the day winds on, choirs from Fairfield and Goshen high schools provide entertainment in the morning and around noon, respectively.
Breakfast is served all day — from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The eaters keep coming.
Salvation Army Maj. Allen Hanton said it’s the largest one-day food event he’s been a part of in nearly 20 years of Salvation Army work in a number of communities.
“Just to see over 2,000 people that come through to support us by having pancakes and sausage is a wonderful thing,” he said.
The first Pancake Day was on Dec. 2, 1964, at the lunch room of the Plain and Fancy restaurant along Main Street. In subsequent years it’s been at First Presbyterian Church, First Brethren Church and now at the Salvation Army location in the former Moose Lodge at 1013 N. Main, according to a press release.
Marcia Yost is this year’s honor chairwoman of the event. Her parents, Bob and Marge, were part of many previous pancake days as pancake makers and the meal is dedicated to his memory, according to a press release.
The pancake breakfast at the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale helps Mennonite Central Committee and is a huge event. Other fish fries help schools or churches. Pancake Day is one more way people support the Salvation Army, and it allows Hanton to shorten the time kettles and bell ringers are in front of stores in our community.
Pancake Day could raise more than $70,000. The kettle goal this year is $75,000.
Money from both helps those in our community. The Salvation Army has the largest food pantry in southern Elkhart County, he said. In the last month, it’s helped 140 individuals or families. In addition, Salvation Army helps people pay utility bills or prescriptions.
I like eating for a cause. And I’m looking forward to the pancakes. They’re not fancy. They’re made right.
The pork sausage is seasoned well.
I like both of them. My snobbishness will prompt me to carry in my own maple syrup since I’m not a fan of pancake syrup. (I think you could offer local maple syrup for an up-charge to raise even more money.)
The coffee could be stronger, but that could be said of nearly any mass coffee production.
But this event shows how this community makes helping others a tradition. And no matter how strong the coffee is, that’s what matters and makes this community strong.
I’m hungry. Let’s eat.
Marshall V. King is managing editor and food columnist for The Elkhart Truth. You can reach him at 574-296-5805, firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.