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Pancakes build parent-child bond at YMCA fundraiser

More than 500 plates served

Posted: November 8, 2008 8:04 p.m.
Updated: November 9, 2008 4:30 a.m.

Jessica Deegan, 6, from Valencia, helps herself to a serving of pancakes with syrup at the 21st annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser at Placerita Junior High School Saturday morning. More than 500 people attended.

A sunny day, helpful parents and children and donated pancake mix provided a successful recipe for the 21st annual Santa Clarita Valley Family YMCA Y-Guides Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser on Saturday.

“A bigger turnout and lower costs means more revenue for the kids of Santa Clarita Valley,” said Chairman of the Board of Managers, John O’Connell.

This year’s breakfast differed from past years as all the basic foods were donated by Marston’s Restaurant in Pasadena, O’Connell said.

Families enjoyed pancakes, sausage and orange juice together on tables spread across the Placerita Junior High School courtyard.

“For pancakes on a playground, it’s really good,” said Andrew Gaitan, 32 of Valencia, as he finished his last bite. 

The annual pancake breakfast, which serves more than 500 people, is the primary means of funding for the Y-Guides program. Attendees had to pay no more than five dollars for a hearty meal. The money raised not only benefits the Y-Guide activities but it also provides financial assistance to families in need of scholarships or assistance to the program, according to information provided by the local YMCA.

Y-Guides are small groups, differentiated by tribes, of parent-child pairs who meet consistently to engage in activities and learning experiences together, according to the information provided. The program gives parents the opportunity to intimately bond with their school-aged children through activities like camping, community clean-up, derbies and more. 
“I like it because I like to hang out with my dad and be with my other friends,” said eight-year-old Taylor Halperin, of the Shoshone Tribe. Halperin designed the patch the Y-Guide children received once they served at the breakfast.

Work shifts were split into shifts assigned to the different tribes. From pouring pancake batter or serving sausage to setting up or cleaning up, the kids and parents did it all.

Mark Nassief, 43 of Saugus, said he was flipping pancakes “to help out, have fun and help raise funds for the tribes to do some fun things.” His favorite experience with Y-Guides is camping with his children. Nassief signed them up for the program because as a child, he enjoyed the experiences with his own father.

Megan Edwards, 43 of Saugus, said the time her son Ethan gets to spend with his father through Y-Guides is “fantastic.”

“(My daughter) can’t wait,” she added. “I have to take her to a special thing when they go camping. We have to go camping in the living room.”

O’Connell and Youth and Family Director Jenny Warner were extremely pleased with the event’s outcome.
Both O’Connell and Warner smiled as they separately said, “It’s for the kids.”


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