Kiwanis of Park Forest Celebrates 60th Annual Pancake Day September 24

Pankatron pancake day
Volunteers operate roll out fresh flapjacks at the massive Pankatron. (Photo Supplied)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The public will celebrate with the Kiwanis Club of Park Forest its 60th Annual Pancake Day, Saturday, September 24, 2011, under the big tent in the DownTown Parking Lot next to the Fire Department on Indianwood Boulevard. Some 4000 guests are expected to enjoy meeting with old friends and establishing new ones while eating delicious pancakes and sausages and drinking milk and coffee.

The “all-you-can eat” feast will be served from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at a pre-event cost of $5.00 per adult ($6.00 at the door) and $2.00 per child under twelve ($3.00 at the door). Kiwanians are selling tickets door-to-door throughout Park Forest and pre-event tickets are available at US Bank and Village Hall as well as through other service organizations and selected churches. This year, there will be the added enjoyment of listening to outstanding musical performances of the Joe Goodrich and Friends ensemble as well as other highly talented groups. This special community event provides proceeds to support children, seniors, and young people through a variety of programs and organizations in the south suburbs.

Eddie & Sylvia Gay with George and Martha Banevich
Kiwanians Eddie and Sylvia Gay enjoy the company of guests George and Martha Banevich. (Photo: Kiwanis)

The Return of the Pankatron

For some 58 Annual Pancake Days, The Park Forest Club of Kiwanis has made use of the Pankatron, a unique griddle/conveyor belt machine, as exhibited in the Pankatron photograph. The machine was designed and constructed under the leadership of two Kiwanians who are now deceased. Earl Wade, a former pilot with United Airlines, and Louis Allsen, a former salesman of bakery goods for Swift machine. The 3-foot-wide and 30-foot-long Pankatron can cook up to 366 pancakes at a time and convey them, while steaming hot, by means of three conveyor belts to waiting guests. Two large hoppers are used to dispense the pancake batter onto the Pankatron’s propane heated grill in rows of six. The hoppers are mounted on wheels which roll on tracks allowing them to be freely moved the full length of the Pankatron. Some ten volunteers, standing on each side of the Pankatron serving as pancake flippers, flip the pancakes at appropriate intervals until the pancakes are golden brown. The flippers then place the pancakes on serving plates which are conveyed to guests via three conveyor belts.

Membership in Kiwanis

Kiwanis membership is by invitation only with any Kiwanian being able to sponsor a new member. The Club meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, excluding the month of September, at the Matteson Hotel Center near I-57 and the Lincoln Highway. Many individuals learn about Kiwanis through volunteering in its service projects. Organizations and individuals serve as regular volunteers in staging Pancake Day. The Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, 4-H Members, Key Clubs, and numerous community volunteers are particularly noteworthy. For additional information please contact Michele Johnson @ 278-0008 or [email protected]

Kiwanian Enid Norton
The joy on Kiwanian Enid Norton’s face is evident at last year’s Pancake Day. (Photo: Kiwanis)