The Clifton Lions Club is hosting its annual pancake breakfast this Sunday, March 9, and club President Carl Allen is hoping for a good turnout.
"We like to see as many people come through the door, as possible, and enjoy themselves," he said. "And it's our way of giving back to the community."
The tasty event runs from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the Clifton Town Meeting Hall. Cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children under 6, and it's all-you-can-eat. Besides piping-hot pancakes, the menu also includes orange and apple juice, coffee, milk, bacon and sausage.
All the proceeds go to charity, and free sight, hearing and diabetes screening will be available to anyone interested. The screening lets the person being checked know if he or she should seek the opinion of a physician. Last year, more than two dozen people were screened and five or six were referred to doctors.
Besides being a fun, relaxing way to start the morning, sharing a meal with friends and neighbors, said Allen, the pancake breakfast is also "a way to exchange information and find out about the needs in the community. Ninety percent of the time, we find out about things by word-of-mouth. For example, we helped a family in Clifton, over Christmas, after someone heard [about them from someone else]."
The Clifton Lions Club has 46 members from throughout the local area, and its annual pancake breakfast generally draws a good-sized crowd. Even dignitaries including Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-11th) have been known to dig in and chow down happily at it.
Last year's event — the club's most successful pancake breakfast ever — made $1,800 and, said Allen, it helps the club "get into contact with the community and show our appreciation for its support, over the years."
The pancake breakfast is one of the fund-raisers that enables the Clifton Lions Club to contribute to so many good causes, during the course of the year. Said Lions Club member Jim Chesley: "We usually make $10,000 to $12,000 a year and give away that same amount."
Last year and so far, this year, the club has donated money to the following organizations: Leader Dog (seeing-eye dogs), $500; Old Dominion Eye Bank, $600; Virginia Lions Hearing Foundation, $500; District 24 A (Northern Virginia), $600 for the van used for vision and hearing screening; Lions Youth Camp, $500; Cub Scout Troop 1860 (based in Clifton), $390; Clifton community food baskets (for needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas), $1,275; and SERVE Inc., (homeless shelter), $500.
The club also contributed to: Prevent Blindness of Virginia, $300; Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Academy, $500; Lions Club International Fund, $400; and Lions of Virginia Foundation, $600. It also supports the Robinson (Secondary School) Leos Club — 30 girls comprising a junior version of the Lions Club at their school. And each June, the Clifton Lions Club awards a $1,000 scholarship to a sight- or hearing-impaired student.