A pile of pancakes can make a big difference!
There is a small group of dedicated volunteers on beautiful St. Joseph Island, Ontario, who work behind the scenes to help make the Island and their community, a great place to live, work, play and visit.
Since 1972, the St. Joseph Island Lions Club has been the service club that is behind a multitude of initiatives and projects in support of their community and beyond. The Lion’s Club on St. Joe, is part of a wider network of over one million people in over 200 countries world wide. The Lion’s Club motto is “We Serve”, and serve they do.
I met up with Carla Dixon Hendry, co-chair of the club’s monthly Pancake Breakfast fundraiser. I wanted to learn more about not only the breakfast and food served, but what the money raised is used for. Carla detailed a long list of activities, including;
Providing bursaries for grad students from St. Joseph Island Elementary School and Central Algoma Secondary School. They support the ride for sight along with the ride for kids’ initiative. St. Mathews Memorial Hospital in Richards Landing on the island is a vital link to health care and also receives support from the breakfast’s proceeds. Other projects that are helped by the breakfast events include;
- Collecting glasses for eye mission’s world wide
- Supports the Walk for Guide Dogs
- Purchases turkeys for Christmas baskets for the food bank on St. Joseph Island, as well as collect food for food bank.
- The Lion’s club Hosts a Christmas party for kids at the library
- Highway clean up twice per year by Lion’s Club volunteers.
- Park bench maintenance in public parks and beaches all over the island
- As well as assist other clubs and organizations that need help
Carla pointed out that, “All money raised stays locally and that any left-over food from the breakfast goes to the local food bank for redistribution out to those who need it.”
There are currently about 34 members of the St. Joseph Island Lions’ Club with 8-10 volunteers who regularly run the monthly pancake breakfast. Carla is co-chair, along with Sherry Rogers.
The pancake breakfast consists of pancakes of course, sausages, scrambled eggs and fruit. Also served is coffee, tea and juice. New to the menu; French Toast.
Suppliers of food on the menu comes from St. Joseph Island, including from Island Market for most of the ingredients, maple syrup from Mountain Maple Products , eggs from Whipawheel Farm and coffee from St. Joseph Island Coffee Roasters.
Carla added that, “our customers come from all over the North Shore, from Thessalon to Sault Ste. Marie, including islanders. In the summer we get a lot of boaters, cottagers and other tourists visiting the area.”
I was surprised to learn that the Lions club also do private breakfasts for different groups like family reunions for other special events. One they’ve been doing for a few years now is for the Sailor’s Boat Race on the island during the Summer.
The pancake breakfast happens year-round on the 4th Sunday of each month, except for December. During the months of January, February and March, the breakfast is held at the Royal Canadian Legion, 1534 10th Side Rd. Richards Landing, St. Joseph Island, Ontario.
During the rest of the year, the breakfast is held at the Hilton Beach Community Hall, 3050 Hilton Rd. Hilton Beach, St. Joseph Island, Ontario.
Breakfast Hours are 10 am – 1 pm
It is amazing what a small group of dedicated volunteers serving their community with selfless commitment can achieve. Well done!
Due to COVID-19, all summer events on St. Joseph Island have been cancelled. Please contact them directly for details.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
All photos credit: Greg Cull
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