On Thursday, February 7th, the Ballinger Rotary club put on its annual pancake supper at the Ballinger Community Center. Hundreds of locals showed up for the event to support the Ballinger Rotary club that uses the money to purchase backpacks and numerous other items, including iPads, for orphans.

  For the Rotary members it was an all hands on deck event. Ballinger Rotary president Alvin Dunn was on hand to help out and oversee the event. Dunn remarked on the orphans who the funds will eventually help, “When the orphans come here, we give them the backpacks with the iPads and other items in them. The backpacks will be given to the kids at the Rotary Adoption Picnic in April (the date will be finalized later this week).       

  Dunn said that the Adoption Picnic is near and dear to his heart, “One year there was a 9-year old boy licking his hand and smoothing down his hair. I asked him why he was doing that and he said that he wanted to look his best because, “This is my chance to get adopted.” Stuff like that just touches your soul.” The pancake supper, much like the Adoption Picnic truly live up the Rotary motto, “Service above self.”

  Rotary members and members of the Ballinger High School Interact Club showed up on Wednesday at 4 p.m. to begin the setup at the Ballinger Community Center. Tables and hundreds of chairs were set up, the cooking trailer was set up and the kitchen prepared as everything was laid out in detail.

  On Thursday the Rotary members and Interact members arrived at 4:30 p.m. to light the griddles, start the coffee and prep everything. Rotary members Joyce Waterfill and Alex Kvapil began with cooking the sausage while other members warmed the grills and tested the batter with a few early flapjacks. Interact members ensured the coffee area had hot coffee while others helped with the kitchen duties and acted as runners between the cook trailer and batter guys; Tyler Reasor, Ron Wood and Ken Slimp who were mixing the batter outside the back door.

  The cause was worthy and just like with the Sheriff’s office toy program the people of Ballinger stepped up to show their support for a great cause. Old friends strengthened bonds and families from the youngest child to the oldest great-grandparent filled the scores of chairs as they enjoyed a fantastic meal of pancakes and sausage. The attendees came from communities all over the area and many extended family members hadn’t seen each for a while so they used the event as a time to reconnect.

  City administrator Tommy Turney, who is a member of the Ballinger Rotary, was on hand with his wife, Carrie, to help out as well. Ballinger Memorial Hospital’s CFO, Antoinette Sehon, manned the front desk with Carrie Turney and sold tickets to the event.

  The cook trailer was manned by Ballinger Home Health’s Administrator David Cowart, Ballinger Memorial Hospital’s CEO Rhett Fricke, Higginbotham Lumber’s Bob O. Wright, Bagwell Oil’s Ken Kvapil and Lange Funeral Home’s Larry Lange. The cooking crew laughed and joked as they flipped pancakes for the cause. Joyce Waterfill and Alex Kvapil cooked sausage nonstop from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.

  In the end the event was a resounding success and the orphans who arrive for the Adoption Picnic in April will benefit greatly from the benevolence and support of the people of Ballinger.  The communities in this area once again showed the heart and strength possessed by the residents and that a good cause can still unite an entire community.

  Dunn said that everyone did their part, “The Rotary members and the public, everyone showed up and made this pancake supper a success. It wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts that everyone put forth. The Interact kids did a fantastic job of setting up everything and then cleaning and taking it all down once the supper was over.”