A fine Saturday for flapjacks in Glenwood Springs | PostIndependent.com

A fine Saturday for flapjacks in Glenwood Springs

Stina SiegGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – At 5:30 a.m. this Saturday, where exactly will Jeff Leonard be?In his words, “Oh, I’ll be working my tail off.”At least he’ll have lots of company. Leonard, 49, will be one of about 40 local Kiwanians setting up for the club’s annual pancake breakfast. The stretch of Ninth Street between Grand and Cooper avenues will be closed, and people will chow down from 7-11 a.m. Now in its 54th year, the morning feed averages about 1,000 attendees every time around. Even during a rainstorm a few years ago, it still brought in about 700 people.Those must be some good flapjacks and sausage.Or perhaps people are just happy to support Kiwanis.”We try to do things that make a difference,” said Leonard. That’s why he joined nine years ago. In the past, he’s been the club’s president and a board member. Currently, he’s this event’s co-chair. For him, the day is particularly important as it’s the club’s second biggest fundraiser of the year. The money goes to everything from student scholarships to Mock Trial to WindWalkers, the equestrian therapy program. Kiwanis famously supports the Winter Special Olympics at Sunlight Ski Resort and the Stars of Tomorrow children’s talent show, as well. Annually, the group budgets about $30,000-$35,000 for all kinds of community enrichment. And that doesn’t even take into account all the elbow grease Kiwanians put into the area. They can be seen working on Habitat for Humanity homes, on park beautification projects and much more around the valley.”We just like to be active in the community, with a focus on things that benefit the youth,” explained Leonard – who’s also the father of two grown children.He described Saturday’s get-together as “homey.” To him, it’s a comfortable kind of atmosphere, where you can bring the kids, sit in the morning sun and chat with neighbors you might not have seen in a while.”It’s community,” he said.It’s also the community that keeps this thing running. Besides the help of countless Kiwanians, the business community lends a hand. It’s now tradition for Village Inn to donate the pancake batter and McDonald’s to donate the orange juice. The coffee comes compliments of True Brew Coffee Service. More than 30 other local businesses pitch in by sponsoring a table.The result is a “fun” time, Leonard said – one that nets about $5,000-6,000.Still, when Saturday rolls around, and he’s forced to get up painfully early, does he truly have no regrets?It seems to be the case.For Leonard, joining Kiwanis isn’t just some hobby.”It’s the best thing I ever did,” he said.Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111ssieg@postindependent.comPost Independent Glenwood Springs CO Colorado

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