PTO rings in 60th Pancake BreakfastPosted: February 28, 2017
by Patty Reiman
The 60th annual PTO pancake breakfast is scheduled for March 4 with many favorite traditions returning along with some new features.
A primary fundraiser for the organization, the pancake breakfast brings together hundreds of volunteers to serve thousands of guests a meal of all-you-can-eat, made-from-scratch pancakes and sausage from 8 a.m. to noon in the Hudson High School commons.
“I love this annual event because it’s a way to reconnect with so many Hudson families in one fun place,” said Jennifer Fisher, PTO pancake breakfast chairperson. “The event would not be possible without the amazing volunteer efforts of the entire community, including staff, administrators, parents and students.”
Fisher said it’s been more than a decade since the pancake breakfast included a pancake-eating contest, and organizers are bringing back the activity this year. The contest is for children and adults and takes place at 10 a.m. in the auxiliary gym.
Those interested in being contestants should arrive ready to eat and can check in just ahead of the competition, which will be segmented by age groups. Winners in each age group will receive free raffle tickets for chances to win a multitude of baskets containing prizes donated by community businesses and organizations.
Other fun activities are housed in the auxiliary gym, where children can participate in a variety of carnival games and win fun prizes.
Showcasing student talent in the visual and performing arts has always been featured at the pancake breakfast via the art show in the main gym and musical performances throughout the morning. This year, Christian Price, a senior advanced graphic arts student, designed the 60th anniversary pancake breakfast logo that is being used on advertising and T-shirts.
A new feature to the pancake breakfast entertainment is a performance by the Hudson Community Youth Chorus. While new to the pancake breakfast, the youth chorus performs regularly at concerts held in Hudson and has participated at Christmas time in the Caroling on the Green. It is one of several student musical groups scheduled to perform at the breakfast.
The full schedule of varied talents also includes choruses, bands and orchestras from the middle school, high school and East Woods school, performing in the auditorium and in the commons. A full schedule is listed at hudsonpto.org.
Throughout the morning, volunteers from the community and the school district will keep guests’ plates full of pancakes (including a gluten-free option) and cups filled with milk, juice and coffee. Superintendent Phil Herman and Assistant Superintendent Doreen Osmun are among the volunteers who roll up their sleeves, don an apron and often man the refill station, where guests can obtain second and third (or more) helpings of pancakes and sausage.
“I am honored and humbled to be part of this school community experience,” said Osmun. “My family reminds me to never take our community for granted.”
“The PTO pancake breakfast represents so much of what is special about this community. It is truly a fun-filled special day, which is why it has stood the test of time,” said Herman. “We are extremely fortunate for the efforts of the Hudson PTO and for the parents and community members who support this event.”
In addition, Fisher said, the event could not take place without the support of businesses that provide sponsorship or donations of food and supplies. This year’s executive sponsors include Keller Williams Chervenic Realty, Discovery Tours, Great Clips and Hudson School of Music. Donors include Perkins Restaurant (pancakes), GFS (sausage), Hudson’s Restaurant (milk and juice) and Caruso’s Coffee Roasters (Lake Erie Island blend coffee).
These and other contrbiutions to the pancake breakfast make it possible for PTO to raise, on average, more than $20,000, which is funneled back into the school district and community through student scholarships and teacher and staff grants.
Each year, PTO grants five $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors. Fisher estimates the PTO pancake breakfast has raised nearly $200,000 for the district in the past decade and said teacher grants have been used to fund the purchases of microscopes, Smartboards, gym equipment, cameras, reading materials and much more.
“PTO grant possibilities are vast, and the guidelines for applying are very general, which appeals to teachers and empowers them to add resources to their classroom,” said Osmun.
“I know families come to support PTO’s fundraising efforts and simply to have a good time,” said Fisher. “Northeast Ohio winters are cold and gray, but the breakfast is always lively and energetic with delicious food and fun.”
Presale tickets can be purchased in Hudson at Acme Fresh Market or the Learned Owl for $7/adult and $5/child. Ticket sales at the door are $8/adult and $6/child. Cash and credit cards are accepted at the event.