Massena Rotary ready to flip over pancake breakfast drive-thru

The Massena Rotary Club’s pancake breakfast on Saturday will feature real New York state maple syrup. In year’s past, these containers would be full, but this year’s event is a drive-through breakfast. Bob Beckstead/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — Pancakes delivered right to your vehicle are on the menu Saturday at the First United Methodist Church, 189 Main St., Massena.

The Massena Rotary Club is holding its biggest fundraiser, its pancake breakfast, but with a twist. It will be a drive-through event from 7 a.m. until noon.

But, despite being a drive-through, a $5 donation per person will still bring three pancakes, three sausage links and real New York state maple syrup that will be taken home to enjoy. Freshly made doughnuts will also be available.

In addition to cash, debit and credit cards will be accepted for a 50-cent fee. Rotarians will also be selling 50/50 raffle tickets at $5 for 10 tickets.

Curt Wood, a member of the organizing committee, said Hurlbut Tent Rental is providing a tent for Massena Rotarians and community partners who will be taking the payment. It will be set up on the right side, back corner of the church. Patrons are asked to wear a mask when interacting with the Rotarians.

“People pull in, they’ll come out and take your payment, and you continue driving up to get your pancakes and doughnuts,” he said.

Massena fire police will be on hand to keep traffic from getting congested and to ensure vehicles aren’t blocking neighboring buildings, Mr. Wood said.

It’s the site that’s also used for free community meals, so a plan was already in place on how to handle the influx of patrons.

“We’re very happy that the Methodist church is allowing us to do this,” he said.

He said they have some “veterans” on grill duty on Saturday, so there should be no problem keeping up with the orders.

“I’m pretty sure we can,” Mr. Wood said.

The money raised supports Rotary International programs and community programs. They donate to food pantries like St. Peter’s Outreach Ministry, formerly St. Vincent de Paul, and the Massena Neighborhood Center. They also provide scholarships to students, and donate to other organizations such as the Police Activities League of Massena, Massena Hospital Foundation and Massena Meals on Wheels.

The pancake breakfast, the Rotary Club’s biggest fundraiser, typically signals the start of spring in the north country, but COVID-19 threw a monkey wrench into this year’s plans. This is the 60th year for the fundraiser, which has featured pancakes with local maple syrup, sausage, orange juice and hot beverage. The event has also featured a silent auction, which has garnered a major portion of the fundraiser proceeds.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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