WESTFIELD-The Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce’s annual pancake breakfast is local business owner Kasie Provencal’s “favorite event” of the year.
“The pancake breakfast is fun, family oriented, and community based which is important to me,” said Provencal. She is the owner of Pro Tours & Cruises in Southwick and is serving as the volunteer chair again this year.
Now in its 39th year, the pancake breakfast is considered a “well-oiled machine from the Chamber’s events committee,” according to Kate Phelon, executive director, adding, “We are always in need of more volunteers to help make the load lighter for everyone.”
Provencal echoed those sentiments.
“It’s such a fun morning,” said Provencal. “We start setting up at 6 a.m. with the tables, chairs and grills and start serving at 7.”
The pancake breakfast is planned July 14 from 7 to 11 a.m. on the lawn of the South Middle School, 30 West Silver St. In the event of rain, the breakfast will be conducted in the school’s cafeteria. Volunteers are needed from 6 a.m. to noon.
Four volunteers who relish their role as pancake flippers are Russ and Justin Klaubert of Air Compressor Engineering, Mark Perez of East Mountain Country Club, and Dan Burack of Tekoa Country Club, according to Phelon. In addition to the pancakes, patrons will receive two sausage patties with syrup and butter. Beverages offered for breakfast include orange juice, coffee and milk.
“We especially thank Manny Sardinha from Dunkin’ Donuts for his generous donation of coffee and cups,” said Provencal, adding that Walmart, Mayor Brian Sullivan, and Mike Dion from Appalachian Press are also important sponsors of the event.
To ensure all facets of the breakfast flow smoothly, Provencal is hoping to recruit 20 to 30 more volunteers to help in certain areas, ranging from a coffee concierge station to keeping tables tidy and emptying trash timely.
“We also would like to recruit individuals to assist seniors and mothers with young children with carrying their plates and beverages,” said Provencal.
Phelon noted that youth group members from the New Life Christian Center will also volunteer to assist patrons.
“The pancake breakfast is a great event for students to complete community service,” said Phelon, adding that volunteer hours can be flexible. “We want to encourage the younger generation to get involved and the pancake breakfast provides a good learning experience.”
Since close to 800 individuals attended last year’s breakfast, both Phelon and Provencal are encouraging more local residents to get involved as volunteers.
“As part of the morning’s festivities we serve approximately 300 young people who are attending summer camp programs through the Westfield YMCA, the Westfield Boy’s and Girl’s Club, and at the middle school,” said Phelon. “There are sponsorships set up that allow the children to eat for free.”
Highlights of the morning’s festivities include a visit by Sparky, the Westfield Fire Department’s mascot, as well as a fire engine display, face painting, a bounce house courtesy of Jerome’s Party Plus, and musical entertainment. Additionally, WSKB – 89.5 FM will be broadcasting live starting at 6 a.m. and patrons are encouraged to be interviewed on the air about their pancake breakfast experience.
Also, a special area under the overhang at the school will be reserved for vendor tables wishing to distribute information about their businesses or organizations. The cost is $75 for Chamber members and $100 for nonmembers and participants must bring their own table. The deadline to register for a vendor table is July 7.
“We conduct a vendor bingo game that encourages everyone to stop by each table,” said Phelon. “Each vendor stamps their bingo square and when all squares are stamped, the patron’s card can be entered into a raffle to win a prize.”
Breakfast tickets can be purchased at the Chamber office, 16 North Elm St., or at the event. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for children 12 and younger. For persons on the go due to tight schedules, “To Go Boxes” will also be available.
“The To Go Boxes were popular last year so we are once again offering them as an option,” said Provencal.
For more information on the breakfast or to volunteer, call the Chamber office at (413) 568-1618. The deadline to register to volunteer is July 11.
“This will be one of the most fun events you will participate in as a volunteer,” said Provencal, adding, “plus you receive a free breakfast.”