'Pancake Days' brings together Bloomington

By Alyssa Donovan

February 16, 2013 Updated Feb 16, 2013 at 9:13 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.-- The sweet smell of maple syrup was wafting through the air this weekend.

Gail Dobbins has been a member of the Bloomington Kiwanis Club for 3 years, but Pancake Days has been a Bloomington tradition for more than 60.

Dobbins said, "I think it's the heart of the community, the way everyone comes together to do this."

Saturday people came out to the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts for the pancake breakfast, and for an early taste of spring.

Dobbins said, "I've heard a lot of people say that because this is always the same weekend in February that when it's pancake days spring is around the corner."

Over time, the Kiwanis Club has really gotten their pancake-makin' down to a science.

Herman Harding of Bloomington was once the President of the Bloomington Kiwanis Club and said, "We used to have just guys standing at grills and flipping them. And then some of the pancakes were good and then some of them weren't so good. So we bought these stainless steel grills and by the time you put the batter on, it makes one loop and the pancakes done!"

Harding has long since laid down his apron but says he'll never miss the chance to enjoy these perfected pancakes.

Kiwanis Club Member Michael Laffey says they expect to serve about 3,000 people over the weekend, which adds up to a lot of pancakes.

Laffey said, "Everybody gets 3 so if you do the math we get about 9,000 to 10,000 pancakes served for the weekend."

And all of the money raised helps send kids from District 87 to Camp Limberlost.

Dobbins said, "They are selected by their teachers as being able to benefit from a social experience. There's a lot of team building and playing together. And the kids tell us later that it changed their life. When they grow up they come back to us and they tell us that it showed them what the world could be."

And when you're enjoying a short stack for a good cause... It can make Pancake Day just a little sweeter.

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