Kiwanis: Serving The Needy In Park Forest And Beyond

boy eating pancakes

A young man enjoys pancakes at Kiwanis Pancake Day. (Photo: Tom Roome)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Kiwanis Club of Park Forest was founded in 1951 as a member of Kiwanis International with a commitment to community service for children, young people, the aging, and the needy in local and international settings. The club sponsors numerous service projects through local organizations such as schools, Key Clubs, the Park Forest Police and Fire Departments, Nurses Plus, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Children Memorial Hospital, Rich Township Food Pantry, and PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter). Worldwide, Kiwanis clubs participate in some 150,000 service projects and raise nearly 107 million dollars each year for communities, families, and projects.

The Village of Park Forest is looking forward to celebrating the 60th Annual Pancake Day of the Kiwanis Club of Park Forest, Saturday, September 24, 2011. The one-of a-kind Pankatron, an intricate mechanical device of pulleys, steel plates, conveyor belts, hoppers, and extensive supports, is assembled each year for this annual community event. The Pankatron can simultaneously grill up to 366 pancakes. The Kiwanis tradition of serving some 5000 people fantastic all-you-can-eat breakfasts of delicious sausages, golden brown pancakes, hot coffee, and cold milk is a great time to see old friends and make new ones.

Kiwanis International consists of:

Kiwanis – about 8000 clubs located in 80 nations with some 260,000 adult members.

Circle K International – the largest university leadership organization in the world performing half a million hours of service each year with more than 12,600 members in 17 nations.

Key Club International – the oldest and largest high school service leadership organization with some 5,000 clubs in 30 nations.

Builders Club – a “student-led” community service organization with more than 42,000 adolescent members.

Aktion Club – allows adults living with disabilities to participate in community service projects with some 92,500 service hours each year.

Kiwanis Kids – a service leadership program for primary school students with more than 33,000 members.

The Eliminate Project – a Kiwanis worldwide service project, in partnership with UNICEF, to raise $100 million and save the lives of 129 million mothers and their future babies through the elimination of maternal/neonatal tetanus by 2015. Maternal/neonatal tetanus kills one baby every nine minutes.

The Pankatron

In his book Park Forest: Dreams and Challenges, Jerry Shnay says Lou Alleson is credited with inventing the Pankatron. "The entire machine consists of a large griddle, a massive pourer, and a series of belts and pulleys that transport hot pancakes to waiting customers," Jerry writes.