COLUMBIA – The smell of hot pancakes lingered in the air, tempting the close to 50 Columbians waiting outside of Saturday's Cosmopolitan Club's Pancake Breakfast.
The annual event usually draws about 2,000 people. Phil Hanson, president of the Cosmo Luncheon Club, said it was too early to tell how many had paid the $5 for an all-you-can eat breakfast, but turnout this morning for the 60th breakfast was "good."
Joan Bay, a retired Columbia School Board member, attended the event for the first time and is already planning a return trip next year.
“I usually support every charitable organization I know about. I don’t know why I haven’t come to this before,” Bay said. “It was a very pleasant experience, even waiting in line.”
The Cosmopolitan International Luncheon Club sponsored the event and volunteers from the other two local Cosmo clubs, Breakfast and Show-Me, helped by cooking and serving the masses.
Hanson, who has been to 32 breakfasts, said they hope to raise $5,000 to help out Ronald McDonald House and club projects, like its ongoing fight against diabetes.
Some people in attendance have made the event a tradition. Michael Tatum said he and his family have come every year for the past five or six years. Tatum also said they are fans of the all-you-can-eat pancakes and even competed one year to see who could eat the most.
"It's always really good food," Tatum said. "There seems to be a lot more people this year."
Chuck Johnson and his son Casey were two of the many attendees to get second helpings. They have come to three or four of the pancake breakfasts.
Johnson said his reason for coming was simple: "I like the pancakes and it raises money for a club that does great things.”
The line still stretched out the door four hours into the breakfast. Some waited about fifteen minutes for their stacks of flapjacks and sausage.
Gary Lenzini, a member of the Cosmo Breakfast Club, made sure those in line were warm and caffeinated.
“I started taking coffee out to people in line earlier this morning,” he said.