Pancake guys

Athens Noon Kiwanis Club members Dr. Bob Foster, left, Roy Harris and Marlin Smith have been flipping pancakes at Kiwanis’ annual Pancake Day for over 40 years.

The Athens Noon Kiwanis Club Pancake Day is a long standing tradition in Athens.

The annual Kiwanis Pancake Day will be held at the Cain Center on March 3rd, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children.

Marlin Smith, Bob Foster and Roy Harris have all been working the event at least 40 years.

Next Tuesday will mark Smith’s 47th year and Foster’s 44th year. Harris said he has been involved for almost 41 years.

“In fact, I have perfect attendance,” Harris said.

He said he enjoys volunteering because it raises money for community children.

“I love it. It is a wonderful organization,” Harris said. “I love to see all the people, love to feed them.”

Foster said Pancake Day is the main way the Kiwanis raise funds for its community projects, including Kiwanis Park.

All three have worked their way up from waiters and sausage cookers to pancake chefs.

“For years I cooked sausage and eventually I worked my way up to pancakes,” Foster said. “You don’t just come in and cook pancakes. It’s kind of a top job when you get to be a pancake chef.”

Smith said they don’t want to serve burned pancakes. He said he has loved cooking all his life.

“I like to pour the batter out and watch it brown,” he said. “Make pretty pancakes someone likes to eat. As long as I can stand up I can make them.”

Foster said when he first joined the club in 1964 the event was a Pancake Supper and was later extended to a day-long event. He said it was held at the Henderson County Junior College’s women’s gym, then moved to the National Guard Armory, before being moved to its current location.

“For the most part it’s the same,” Smith said.

He said the only difference is the club has to buy pancake mix and syrup.

“In the old day Aunt Jemima would donate the mix, now we have to buy it,” Smith said. “I like the people. It is like a community party.”

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