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HUDSON -- Sticky smiles gave way to full bellies March 4 as people helped celebrate the Hudson PTO's 60th Annual Pancake Breakfast in the Hudson High School commons.
According to Jennifer Fisher, who along with Sue Carter and Laura Jones, co-chaired the event, 2,300 people purchased tickets to eat pancakes and sausage while helping raise money for a variety of PTO projects.
"That doesn't include anyone who stopped by just to enjoy the musical performances and check out the art show," Fisher said.
The attendance was slightly up over last year's 2,200 and has been increasing steadily.
The breakfast raised $25,000 for the Hudson City School District.
"And every dollar will go right back to the HCSD in scholarships and grants. Our success is very much due to the support of our community partner, US Foods, who has worked with us over the last several years to offset our costs and ensure we had what was needed to make the event run so smoothly," Fisher said.
"We are enjoying an increase in our attendance over the last few years. We dipped a bit after the 55th breakfast but more and more people have come back every year since," Fisher said. "We reached out to area preschools this year in an effort to introduce families with younger children to the breakfast. We hope some of the new faces included these folks, and they'll come back next year."
According to estimates each person averaged about three or four pancakes, which averaged out to about 6,900 pancakes.
"We used up all the batter we had on hand, and that means we made a lot of pancakes," Fisher said.
Along with the pancakes about 6,000 sausages, 2,000 pats of butter and 100 gallons of juice and coffee were served, she said.
"And more cups of coffee than I could possibly count," Fisher added.
The event would have been impossible without the more than 300 committee and community volunteers, Fisher said.
"School board members, the superintendent, school principles, staff and teachers, parents, students--the time they give is invaluable and appreciated by all," Fisher said.
And while the volunteers cooked, the crowd was "non-stop from the time we opened the kitchen," Fisher said.
"We were fortunate to have a robust line-up of entertainment and that meant families and friends arrived all morning to listen and enjoy. At one point the line for pancakes stretched all the way across the Commons to the front entrance," she said. "The kitchen crew couldn't make the pancakes fast enough! We are so appreciative for everyone's patience in waiting for their breakfast."
Fisher hopes everyone who attended had a good time.
"I certainly did and certainly our 15 lucky prize package winners plus our 50/50 raffle winner who took home $765 had a great day," Fisher said. "I think the many smiles I saw said it all."
Even Mother Nature seemed to smile down at the breakfast and held off any bad weather.
"Honestly, we had a perfect day for the breakfast," Fisher said. "The bright sun always encourages people to get out and about, but the cold temps meant doing something inside was appealing. The Pancake Breakfast was the perfect destination."
Even the pancake eating contest, which was a bit different from the traditional grub feasts, brought out several contestants.
"Our pancake eating contest wasn't how many pancakes could be eaten in a period of time, but who could eat 1/2 pancake the fastest, not using any hands," Fisher said. "We had several rounds of kids competing and one little boy came back three times, obviously determined to win -- and win he did. The look on his face as he finally swallowed his last bite was priceless."
Plans for next year's event are already underway, according to Fisher. Committee members purchased as many paper goods and durable items as possible this year to allow the focus in 2018 to be on the actual food items, she said.
"We are fortunate that we can store our supplies at HHS where the custodial staff cheerfully allows us to check on and access everything throughout the course of the year," Fisher added.
Fisher said she was thankful for the volunteers as well as the community that came out and supported the PTO Breakfast.
"The Hudson PTO Pancake Breakfast is run by amazing volunteers who care about the wonderful community where we all live. The energy and enthusiasm that we all share make this morning an annual highlight, and the financial generosity of our sponsors and those who attend the breakfast is second to none," she added. "Thank you Hudson for valuing the HCSD and supporting the children who attend our schools. Your generous support makes this day wonderful."