Pancake House at the Sioux Empire Fair looks a little different during pandemic

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Kiwanis Club of Sioux Falls is passionate about helping children in need. It’s had to adapt its fundraising strategies during the pandemic. Thankfully, it’s getting a big boost this week at the Sioux Empire Fair thanks to the decades-old Pancake House.

The Pancake House has been here since 1982 and usually seats about 50 hungry fairgoers at a time. Not this year.

“So we stripped out six of our seven tables. We have one table left inside that will seat six,” McClung said.

Mark McClung is the President of the Kiwanis Club of Sioux Falls, the group that runs the house. He says a lot of customers are taking pancakes, sausages and coffee to go this summer. Christina Rose is enjoying her cakes indoors.

“This is actually the first time. Pretty good,” Rose said.

Either way, McClung is just happy to be open and raising money for kids in need.

“We are an organization that deals with children from O maybe to 18. We donate the money that would come from either the Pancake House or the donations from sponsors that we have that represent what we want to get for the children,” McClung said.

In a typical year, the Kiwanis Club of Sioux Falls raises about $55,000 for roughly a dozen organizations. All of the funds need to go to programs that directly benefit children.

McClung says surprisingly, the club is on pace to hit that number again. There are several groups set to benefit this year including Compassion Child Care, the Teddy Bear Den and the Family Visitation Center.

“The needs probably are even higher than they were before. We’re finding out that sometimes home isn’t a safe place for children and we’re finding that the moneys are needed even more for the organizations to help the kids that are at home all the time now,” McClung said.

Stacking up cakes for a good cause even during a pandemic.

McClung says fewer people wanted to volunteer this summer at the Pancake House so he reduced the facility’s hours from 8-3 to 8-1. If you want to stop by for cakes, it’s all you can eat for $5.

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