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59th Annual Pancake Breakfast Flips A Flurry Of Flapjacks



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The Rotary Club of Newtown welcomed more than 650 people to its 59th Annual Pancake Breakfast, which was co-hosted with Newtown Parks & Recreation, on Saturday, December 7.

David Freedman, president of The Rotary Club of Newtown, said the Pancake Breakfast is the group’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and proceeds go toward their giving budget of $40,000 to help the community.

The Rotary Club held the event at the Newtown Community Center this year, since the space offered more room to accommodate the ever-growing attendance of hungry patrons.

The all-you-can-eat pancakes were made by Rotary Club members, as well as First Selectman Dan Rosenthal and Dr Robert Grossman, who flipped the first pancakes.

Alex Villamil, vice president of The Rotary Club of Newtown, said that this year they put a special focus on being environmentally friendly by eliminating the use of plastic and paper plates, cups, and utensils.

He added that while members of the Rotary Club were in charge of making the pancakes, members of Newtown Environmental Action Team (NEAT) were taking care of the dishes.

Looking around at the packed room, Mr Villamil noted they were having a “tremendous turnout” and by partnering with Parks & Recreation, guests could get their picture with Santa Claus.

Professional photos with the jolly North Pole resident were courtesy of Sandra Lynn Photography. Proceeds went to benefit the Camp Scholarship Fund.

Many local businesses participated in supporting the Pancake Breakfast, including Maple Craft Foods, which donated syrup; Butcher’s Best, which donated sausages; BD Provisions, which donated coffee; and Caraluzzi’s and Stew Leonard’s, which donated gift cards.

“We’re grateful for our sponsors and for Ben’s Lighthouse,” Mr Freedman said about those who contributed to help make the day a success.

Ben’s Lighthouse volunteers not only served patrons their breakfast, but they also helped with setting tables.

Throughout the morning, the Pancake Breakfast offered live entertainment, starting with multiple performances by The Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet.

Instructor “Mad Mabel” Buttress of Mad Science entertained the crowd with a Winter Wonderland Show. Her scientific tricks included making snow indoors, as well as lighting flash paper on fire to teach about flammability and combustion.

Closing out the entertainment was the Dance Team from the Lathrop School of Dance, who performed throughout the last hour of the event.

The Pancake Breakfast drew people in from near and far, some who have been coming for years and others who went for their first time.

Newtown resident Bruce Moulthrop attended the event with his wife, Cheryl, both of whom were active with the St John Church before its closure in 2015. Mr Moulthrop said this year marked the Rotary’s Pancake Breakfast surpassing the St John’s Pancake Breakfast record, which reached 59 years prior to closing. As a result, last year Mr Moulthrop donated a large griddle that covers six stove burners to help the Rotary’s Pancake Breakfast continue to thrive for many more years to come.

Sisters Elise Foley, 7, and Mia Foley, 9, came from out of town this year to enjoy their first official Pancake Breakfast.

“I liked it!” Mia exclaimed about her experience. “The pancakes were super good!”

With smiling faces and bellies full of flapjacks, the Pancake Breakfast ended at noon, but continued to help hungry families — having requested attendees donate goods to support FAITH Food Pantry.

To learn more about The Rotary Club of Newtown, visit newtownctrotary.org. For more information about Newtown Parks & Recreation, visit newtown-ct.gov/parks-recreation.

The Keogler Family gathers around the table during their first Pancake Breakfast on December 7 at the Newtown Community Center. Pictured from left is 7-year-old Anna — still in her dance outfit after performing earlier that morning with Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet — with her dad, Ryan; brother, Joshua; mom, Katie; and sister, Noel Keogler.
Lathrop School of Dance’s Dance Team performs at the 59th Pancake Breakfast, co-hosted by Newtown Parks & Recreation and The Rotary Club of Newtown, on December 7.
During the Pancake Breakfast, Mad Science Instructor “Mad Mabel” Buttress teaches children about flammability and combustion by lighting flash paper on fire, which left the children awestruck as the paper disappeared without a trace.
Pictured from left are sisters Elise Foley, 7, and Mia Foley, 9, with a giant Frosty the Snowman inflatable balloon in the hallway of the Newtown Community Center for the Pancake Breakfast.
Six-year-old Hannah Rockafellow holds her plate of breakfast specially assembled thanks to her great-grandfather Dr Robert Grossman in the kitchen area of the Newtown Community Center. Dr Grossman has helped flip pancakes every year at the Pancake Breakfast.
Rotary Club of Newtown member Chris Hoeffel makes organized rows of flapjacks on the griddle during the Pancake Breakfast on December 7.
Decked out in festive reindeer antlers, Victoria Weimann of Newtown Parks & Recreation sits with Rotary Club of Newtown member Joe Glaze on the morning of Saturday, December 7. Together they greeted guests attending the Pancake Breakfast at the Newtown Community Center.
Outside the Pancake Breakfast, 8-year-olds Rylee Olson, left, and Macayla Ile smile next to the Letters to Santa mailbox after eagerly slipping their wish lists in to be sent off to the North Pole before Christmas.
Pictured from left is Peter Taweh and Mihill Dushi, both Ben’s Lighthouse volunteers, serving up breakfast to the long line of hungry patrons attending the 59th Pancake Breakfast. —Bee Photos, Silber
Pictured from left are Jason Chawi, Chloe Chawi, and Zoey Saunders poking their heads through the cardboard cutout of Santa’s Workshop before entering the 59th Pancake Breakfast.
“Mad Mabel” Buttress of Mad Science introduces herself to the children gathered around her at the start of her Winter Wonderland Show that took place after 10 am during the Pancake Breakfast.
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