by Mary Fuson-Stearley
The batter hit the grill early Saturday morning to kick off the annual Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at the Wabash County Fairgrounds. The fundraising event drew a crowd of 1,000 people, packing the 4-H building wall-to-wall with pancake enthusiasts looking to support local community activities such as Wabash County Schools Reading Program and Special Olympics. Old and young gathered to enjoy a hearty breakfast of pancakes, sausage, and juice while watching the inaugural pancake-eating contest.
Jordan Tandy, Pancake Day committee chair, was pleased with the turn out and the amount of money raised. Wabash County has enjoyed the Pancake Breakfast for years, but the introduction of the pancake-eating contest was what really drew the masses March 8.
Three competitions brought together familiar faces from around the community. To kick off the competitions at 10:30 a.m. was a bout between Northfield and Southwood football teams. Four boys from each team were invited to compete in the mad dash to consume as many pancakes as possible in a matter of 3 minutes. A quiet hush fell over the crowd as the stopwatch started and the boys dug into their plates. As the time ticked on, it became apparent that each individual had his own unique strategy for consumption. For example, one boy from Southwood adopted a chipmunk-style food storage system with his cheeks, while others had a special tearing technique that allowed them to better consolidate the surface area of each pancake being consumed.
As the final seconds passed and the contest came to a close, Southwood left Northfield’s football team in the dust by a whopping 9 pancake margin, with a final pancake count of 28 to 19. This was an embarrassing loss indeed for Northfield as they go back to the playbooks in preparation for next year’s competition.