Pancake Day is the Noon Kiwanis Club’s major fundraiser for the entire year. Originally begun in the spring of 1955, it settled on the last Saturday in October, the opening of pheasant hunting season. The club’s major emphasis is children and is evidenced in Kiwanis International’s defining statement: “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.
There have been two additional Pancake Days to help with special projects. One was to raise $5,000 for the new handicapped accessible pool that was built for Pleasant Hill School students.
An earlier pancake event developed when the Marshalltown Kiwanis members voted to send the Marshalltown High School Pep Band to the 1963 Kiwanis International Convention in Atlantic City. According to the club president Fred Ward, Jr., “We chartered a local bus which took our ‘peppy’ group to the Boardwalk, where our young players entertained the bystanders while enjoying themselves immensely.
“When we got back from the convention a small problem awaiting us was paying for the chartered bus, etc. We planned to raise much of the money feeding pancakes and sausages at a horse show at the old fairgrounds.It rained cats and dogs that weekend; we had more horses than pancake customers. We’d geared up to feed thousands and fed only hundreds.
“We stored unused supplies and sold unused sausages the rest of the year. Ed Haupert said he’d book the Shrine Chanters into the Coliseum. They sang for free and we sold tickets like our lives depended on it; when the clapping ceased and the accounting finished, our club was back in the black again!”