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Having fun, seeing friends, raising funds

February 17, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- Ed Miller sees his perennial role at the Waynesboro Lions Club pancake and sausage breakfast as twofold -- to take tickets and to greet people.

He demonstrated again Saturday that he's well-suited for the job, welcoming almost every visitor by name.

"Hello, Pap and Betty! Hello there, Dave. ... Brought the kids today, Matt?"

Miller estimated that he knows 95 percent of the approximately 1,000 people who venture out on often-frigid February mornings for the breakfast every year. The Waynesboro man remembers the event from his childhood and wants to continue as a greeter for the next 15 years.

Miller does, however, have a secret, one that he only mentions in a whisper: He doesn't even like pancakes.

"I just get to see a lot of people I don't see any other part of the year," Miller said.

"I think it's the community attraction," Marty Schorn said, pausing briefly from food preparation early in the morning. "People like to come out, and they come out every year to this pancake breakfast. They know February is 'pancake breakfast.'"

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Forty Lion and Lioness club members were on hand to prepare, serve and clean up from what is their largest fundraiser of the year, Schorn said.

Proceeds benefited vision services for those in need, he said.

Estimates were that the local Lions Club has been holding a similar breakfast ever since its 1929 formation. Ezra Fitz, a member for more than 50 years, said breakfasts have been an annual draw for the community for as long as he can remember.

Four hundred pounds of sausage and 135 pounds of pudding were ordered from Steely Meats of Fayetteville, Pa., Schorn said. Johnnie's

Restaurant Supply of Chambersburg, Pa., was the source of other supplies, including the pancake mix that kept a large stainless steel mixer humming in the kitchen of Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

"We bring all the supplies here the day before, but we come in at 5 o'clock in the morning and start from scratch," Schorn said.

Pershing Freeman of Quincy, Pa., was among the dozen people who arrived prior to the 7 a.m. start of the meal, which cost $5 for adults.

"I've been coming here for, I don't know, ... eight or 10 years," he said. "I like a good breakfast."

"We try to come every year," Gene Knepper said.

"We try to support them," Irene Knepper added.

The Waynesboro couple said they like the atmosphere of friendship as much as the food.

"When we worked at the local shops, we came early and went to work," Gene Knepper said.

The event's draws are "the good food and the friendship," said Mike Toms, a Lions Club member who dished out seconds and carryout orders.

"Everybody winds up seeing people they haven't seen in a while."

"It's amazing. After the years with doing this, you know who is coming. You know how many are in their group," said Margaret Thompson, the

Lioness Club's program chairwoman. She helped seat visitors at long tables in the school's cafeteria.

Miller said the biggest crowd typically forms about 9:30 a.m., when it's not uncommon to see more than 100 people in line.

"Most of the people still come," Miller said. "They don't mind waiting. There's usually something going on."

The Lions' breakfast again was coupled with the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce Business Expo and state Rep. Todd Rock's Senior Fair, both held in the high school auditorium.

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