By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor

The Shinnston Lions Club is preparing to host its annual Pancake Breakfast next weekend.

The proceeds of this event each year supports a worthy local cause that varies from year to year.  Next Saturday’s breakfast will benefit the “Snack Pack Ministries for Big Elm Elementary”, a program initiated by the First Baptist Church of Shinnston.

The Lions’ Pancake Breakfast will be held in Epworth Center of the First United Methodist Church in Shinnston next Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until noon.  Because this event is so well attended, the public is encouraged not to wait until noon when food may dwindle down.

Shinnston Lions Club president David Minor said, “We expanded our hours a couple of years ago, starting a little earlier and running until the lunch hour because being a Saturday, some people don’t enjoy rising and getting out so early.  And some people who attend call it ‘brunch’!  The new times worked out very well for us in recent years so we will stick to those times.”

Each year, the Lions Club manages to find a worthy cause to donate to, and this year is a repeat from a former year.

“We donated to the Snack Pack Ministry a few years ago and we had a great turnout.  Service is what the Lions Club is all about, and we try to keep the proceeds of our fund-raising events supporting something local.  Because more and more families experience tough times, unfortunately their children may often suffer because of it and go without some of the extras that other kids have.  We thought the snack pack program was a very worthy recipient once again for our breakfast’s proceeds,” Minor added.

Kevin Nuzum, pastor at the First Baptist Church of Shinnston, offered some astounding numbers.  Each and every week from the beginning of the school year until school closes, 190 snack packs are given out at Big Elm Elementary School every Friday!  And during longer breaks from school – for instance at Christmas time or during the Easter break – more items are put in each bag.

“We use brown lunch bags and typically put five or six items in each bag … snacks such as pudding, a fruit cup, applesauce cup, a Krispy treat, pop tarts, cheese crackers, etc.  During lengthier holiday breaks, at least ten items are put in each bag.   What we like about this program is that it is confidential so that there is no embarrassment involved to any of the students who receive snack packs; they simply find them in their lockers,” Pastor Nuzum explained.

He added that many local schools in the county have similar programs within their immediate area.

“It is a fact that there are lots of kids who depend on this,” Nuzum added.  “We were surprised to learn that so many children don’t have a snack to bring to school from home, and these snack packs they can take home with them.  There are many churches in our area who help us with this program by contributing funding for it because filling that many bags every week can be costly.”

By attending the Shinnston Lions Club’s Pancake Breakfast next Saturday, you can enjoy a hearty breakfast with your choice of pancakes and sausage OR sausage gravy & biscuits – along with coffee, tea, milk or juice.  The cost is just $7 per person.

Minor concluded, “Our goal is to support our own community as much as we can, and a great part of our service work involves ‘giving’.  Not only is this a very worthy cause that benefits our local children, it is also a way for us to bring our Lions Club members and the citizens of our community together.  It’s a win/win situation as far as we are concerned.  We hope to see another great turnout next Saturday.”