The fly-in pancake breakfast sponsored annually by the Waupaca Lions Club was featured in the June 2011 issue of Lion, the international organization’s magazine for members.
The Waupaca Municipal Airport has served as the site of a fly-in pancake breakfast since 1992.
“The first year the breakfast was held, we had to beg, borrow or steal an aircraft hangar to hold this event,” Dale Matheson said. “Waupaca’s largest employer, the Waupaca foundry, allowed us to use its 100 by 100-foot hangar and to this day, we’re still welcome to use it.”
The 57-member club was fortunate to have a diversified roster of Lions.
“One Lion owns a machine shop, another has a heating and cooling business, and yet another is the owner of a heating fuel dealership. The burners, fuel lines, electric motors and metal for the framework were easily scrounged by these guys to build our very own pancake cooker. A second machine was added to our inventory soon after the first one,” Matheson said. “The same three Lions also manufactured high output cookers for our sausage links and eggs.
“We take an empty hangar and transform it into a mess hall. Trailer loads of tables, chairs and cooking equipment need to be loaded and set up. Another member who’s an appliance dealer is responsible for hauling a couple of refrigerators to keep our perishables cold.”
Lions serve an average of 750 meals. “Only a small fraction of people arrive via aircraft, but the 25 or 30 planes that do show up are part of the attraction that draws everyone else there,” Matheson said.
Lions serve 1,500 pancakes and use 110 pounds of sausage, 25 gallons of milk, 20 gallons of syrup, 30 pounds of butter and 1,800 eggs.