Rotary Club of Murfreesboro’s pancake breakfast has long been the beginning of the holiday season for many families in Rutherford County. This year, it was about bringing a lot of old friends together who had not seen each other for some time due to the two-year event hiatus during the pandemic.
“It was good to see old friends,” said one attendee, at the December 3rd event, between bites of pancake.
Santa gave out candy canes to the children in attendance and mingled among the adult visitors causing belly laughs with his ho-ho humor as he and Mrs. Claus shared their preparations for their biggest night of the year.
While Mr. and Mrs. Claus spread holiday cheer, the pancake brigade turned out lots of fluffy delights, as well as sausage and cinnamon rolls. This year an added treat was a pancake dressing station with blueberries, strawberry compote, whipped cream, chocolate chips, caramel drizzle and other treats to sprinkle over the pancakes. These added toppings were a big treat for all who attended. Of course, there was also traditional maple syrup, too!
The breakfast really ended up being about seeing old friends and making new ones. It was the first fundraising event the Rotary Club of Murfreesboro has had since the pandemic. Many of the club’s members have been attending the meetings via Zoom, and this day was an opportunity for club members to work together and have a casual chat.
“At our weekly meetings, we do get a chance to see each other,” said Club Vice President and event coordinator Brett Garner. “But not like you do when you are working on a project together like this. It gave a lot of our new members an opportunity to have some fun with older members of the club for a good cause.”
Profits from the event goes towards funding club projects. The club has given funds to Tennessee Imagination Library to get books to children three and under in the county, their own Dictionary Project to get all third graders their own copy of a dictionary, Boys and Girls Club of Rutherford County, Read to Succeed and Center for the Arts. The club’s main focus is literacy, but they also fund other projects that fall within Rotary International’s six areas of service: Peace and conflict prevention and resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.
“We would like to thank all of our sponsors whose donations will allow us to fund these projects in 2023,” said Garner.
Business sponsors include Ascension St. Thomas Rutherford, Smyrna Ready Mix, F&M Bank, J. Harmon Home Team, Elder’s Ace Hardware, Dempsey Vantrease and Follis PCCL, Grannis and Associates, Primis Mortgage, Stones River Watershed Association, Friends of Stones River National Battlefield, Nora Communications, Woodfins Funeral Home, and Unique Laser by Lori, Austing. Individual sponsors included, Clair Maxwell, Roy Thompson, DDS, Gloria Bonner, Julie Corcoron, Brett Garner, Stacy Webb, Lisan Nolen, Steve Sax, Gordon Johnson, FACP, and Tom Woholon, MD.
Food and in-kind sponsors included Middle Tennessee Christian School, General Mills, McGuire Group/McDonalds, and Heritage Farms.
Rotary International (RI) is best known for their work to eradicate polio. From a 1979 trip by then RI President James L. Bomar, Jr., a lawyer from Shelbyville Tennessee, to the Philippines to put the first drops of polio vaccine into a child’s mouth, he ceremonially launched Rotary’s first Health, Hunger and Humanity Grant project. This brought about the launch of Polio Plus in 1985, a drive to eradicate polio from the world. Since that time 2.5 million children have received oral polio vaccines. Because of this initiative, only two countries remain with wild polio virus, the strain that is most virulent and causes paralysis. Those countries are Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Rotary Club of Murfreesboro was founded in 1919 and it is one of the oldest Rotary Clubs in the State of Tennessee. Rotary is a service organization dedicated to truth, fairness, goodwill, friendship and projects that are beneficial to the community. Members have worked hard over the years to increase the quality of life for everyone in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County through their donations and volunteer hours.