The Rotary Clubs of Alexandria-West End, West Potomac/East Fairfax and Mount Vernon hosted a pancake breakfast at the Knights of Columbus hall on Richmond Highway. One hundred and twenty five hungry citizens turned up to enjoy the local cuisine.
"It is the grand American community tradition with volunteers preparing a meal for the community to fund opportunities for its members," said John Sykes, West Potomac president.
For many Rotarians, volunteering is a continuation of family or school experiences. Walt Page began at the Strawberry Festival in his Connecticut hometown when he was nine and continued at Carneige-Mellon when his house cooked the Shove Tuesday breakfast for the local Episcopal church.
Greg Fritts worked for his high school Latin Club in Las Vegas, while Helen Walutes waited tables at the annual American Legion picnic in Amherst County, Va.
THE GUESTS had memories, too. Bob and Jean Preston joined their families at barbecued chicken and New England boiled dinners supporting the Kiwanis Club and the maintenance of a Massachusetts church built in 1770.
Dorena Bertussi came from California to Northern Virginia to work on Capitol Hill and volunteers with Meridian House, inviting foreign visitors to her home for a meal and conversation. She laughs when describing a breakfast a decade ago just when Eastern Europe was opening upo. Her guests, Hungarian legislators, could not understand that French toast with maple syrup was a treat.
MOUNT VERNON ROTARY CLUB President Dick Fruend, originally from Philadelphia, noted, "much is returned to the community." C.O.R.E., a program to teach computer skills to young people, is supported by West End. West Potomac funds a scholarship at Bryant Alternative School. Mount Vernon will send MVHS students to the World Affairs Conference at Marymount University.
Sykes added, "While we come from all over, this is our community and the Rotary goal of opportunity for all young people begins here. Plan to join us for a chili supper sometime this winter."