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Kiwanis kick off sales for Pancake Day
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Ticket sales for the 54th annual Kiwanis Pancake Day are under way, with members reporting nearly 1,800 of the $3 tickets sold in the first week, according to Paul Maneth, cochairman of the annual fundraiser. Pancakes will be served from 4-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, at the Expo I Building west of Great Bend.

A lot of preparation goes into the annual event, Maneth said. "Right now our focus is on selling tickets." The individual ticket sales don’t include bulk purchases made by 20 pacesetter businesses.

Pancake Day cochair Terry Turner is one of the top ticket sellers in the club. He noted many businesses and individuals buy additional tickets as a donation. Although contributions to the Kiwanis club are not tax deductible as charitable contributions, the purchase of tickets makes it possible for the club to sponsor many activities – most of which focus on youth. "The Kiwanis International motto is, ‘Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time,’" he said. Locally, the club sponsors American Legion baseball, Barton County 4-H Council, Barton County Spelling Bee, Barton Community College scholarships, the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween Parade, and the Jack Kilby Science Fair, plus more than a dozen other groups or activities.

All of this is done through the sale of pancake tickets, said Barb Konrade, the third cochair of the fundraiser. This is the club’s only fundraiser of the year, she said. As one of 89 Kiwanis clubs in the Kansas District, Great Bend’s club is also supporting the effort to build a cabin for a future Victory Junction Camp in the Kansas City area. "It’s a camp strictly for kids with serious illnesses or chronic conditions," she said. NASCAR driver Richard Petty and his wife Lynda purchased the land for the first Victory Junction, located in Randleman, N.C., after the death of their grandson, Adam Petty. The future Kansas facility will be housed on approximately 71 acres, also donated by the Petty family. The camp accepts children 6-16 years of age with a variety of conditions including cancer, sickle cell disease, spina bifida and many others. "It is just a super awesome camp, with doctors and nurses on staff," Konrade said, adding the camp is provided at no cost to the campers’ families.

Tickets for Kiwanis Pancake Day will be available at the door, or may be purchased from any club member. The Great Bend club meets every Wednesday at noon at Montana Mike’s Restaurant.