GRAVETTE -- Members of the Gravette Kiwanis Club have announced that they will again sponsor the popular pancake breakfast on Gravette Day, Saturday, Aug. 14. Bob Kelley, who has been a longtime chairman of the event, will continue as chairman.
Gravette Day visitors will be happy to learn that the activity has returned. It has been a tradition with many families and out-of-town visitors to start their Gravette Day with a hearty meal at the Kiwanis pancake breakfast. The meal was not served in 2020 because of covid-19 restrictions.
The breakfast will be from 6:30 to 10 a.m. in the middle school cafeteria. Diners will be treated to all-you-can-eat servings of pancakes, sausage, coffee, orange juice and milk. Tickets are available for $5 each from any Kiwanis member or they can be purchased at the door.
Kelley says he does not know exactly how long the Kiwanis breakfast has been a feature of Gravette Day. He has been chairman of the event almost as long as he has been a member.
Kelley relates that, when he first started helping with the breakfast, renowned cartoonist Spec Martin, from Sulphur Springs, was a Kiwanis member and gave him some instructions. Martin told him one of his secrets was to take a big box of Morton Salt, pour it into a tea towel and use it to wipe down the griddle between each batch of pancakes. Bob said longtime cafeteria manager Ida Wheeldon always had all their supplies ready and waiting on Gravette Day morning. And, following Martin's direction, these included the box of salt and a teatowel.
"So, we still do that," Kelley said. "It's the first thing we do on Gravette Day morning, along with mixing the pancake batter. We get that tea towel, fill it with salt and have it ready. We don't know exactly why we do it, but we do. Spec always told us he learned to cook in a hobo jungle and that's the way it was done."
Kelley expressed appreciation to the Gravette school district for allowing the Kiwanis to use the school cafeteria for its breakfasts and to the school staff member who is always on hand for the event.
"We wouldn't be able to do it without their support and cooperation," he said.
He said he is also very thankful for all the hard-working volunteers from the Gravette Kiwanis Club who make the breakfast a success each year and to all the visitors who come out to eat with them. Proceeds will go to help fund Kiwanis scholarships for Gravette High School graduates and other projects to benefit youth in the community.