MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - For decades, the Midland Downtown Lions Club has served the community in efforts to give back. This Saturday, they're hosting their 62nd annual Pancake Jamboree, an event with music, dancing and of course, all you can eat pancakes.
A large part of their philanthropic efforts comes with extra help, which is why they hold this fundraiser to provide funding for those projects. Every year, you'll find Lions Club members whipping up batches of pancakes. But it's a little more than serving you all-you-can-eat pancakes.
The club is involved in several projects like the Texas Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center in Midland. A center where they provide eye exams, new glasses for school children and help people around the world with visual needs.
"After Pancake Jamboree, we gather glasses that people bring to the jamboree," said Tom Blase with the Midland Downtown Lions Club. "A lion by the name of Ike Fitzgerald saw the glasses were being wasted and he thought that we could do better. He said, 'We can put these glasses for people right here in the Permian Basin who lost their jobs.' This was back during the boom. We developed a program to save the glasses, refurbish them ourselves, bag them with a prescription on them and we teach classes to missionaries to people who go down to other countries. They have a process who find a near prescription for somebody."
Also, for children with physical disabilities, the club also gives handicapped kids the chance to attend a camp in Kerrville every summer, where they can have fun as any other kid, and no cost to the family. Every year, about 1,500 disabled children attend the camp.
"A lot of needs can't be taken care of, we can't be everything to all people," said Blase. "And so things like Lions Club and other service organizations, we fill those gaps. If we're not doing that, who is?"
So while the hotcakes start to pile on your plate, it's really the club's heart and service that really stacks up.
Everything kicks off this Saturday starting at 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tickets are $7 each or you can get 11 tickets for $70. You can buy tickets at the door. You can also catch some of us from NewsWest 9 flipping some pancakes, too. The event will be at the Midland Downtown Lion Center at 200 Plaza St. For tickets, call Tom at (432) 218-8021 or (325) 315-7060.