SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A little over a year ago KELOLAND News brought you the inspiring story of a young man who was walking the streets of Sioux Falls on his way to work, but along the way he was picking up trash.
Because of his good deed, he got something he desperately needed and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of one local organization that is now asking for your help.
If you remember during our interview with Nico Swalley, his eyeglasses fell apart, because they had been held together with tape.
That video clip caught a lot of our viewers’ attention, including eye doctor Jeff Sayler.
Sayler gave Nico an eye exam and got him a new pair of glasses for free.
But that wouldn’t have been possible if not for the annual Lions Pancake Feed.
“The Downtown Lions Club, for 65 years, has had a pancake feed and generally we would feed 10,000 people,” Sayler said.
The money raised through ticket sales helps pay for glasses and eye exams that take place at the Falls Community Health Clinic in downtown Sioux Falls.
“And they hand them a prescription and that prescription goes to an eye clinic and a patient pays $10 dollars for their glasses,” Sayler said.
But in 2020, the Lions Club lost a lot of money because it couldn’t hold the pancake feed due to the pandemic and last year it was scaled back and that’s why this year’s event is so important in order to keep the program running.
“It’s become a family affair, there’s people who come through our line who talk about coming when they were little kids and there are a lot of club members who don’t want to give that up,” Tom Grimmond Lions Club member said.
The Lions Club pays for two, three, up to four hundred pairs of glasses every year for those who don’t have the means, like Nico Swalley.
“It really makes you feel good when you can help people like that,” Sayler said.
This year’s Lion Pancake Feed will be held at the Sioux Falls Convention Center April 19th and 20th.
You can buy tickets in advance at any Lewis or Ace Hardware stores. Advance tickets are $8 at the door they are $10. Kids six and under eat for free.
They also are selling what’s called a ‘Fast Pass’ where you don’t have to wait in long lines to get your pancakes.