ASHEBORO — A 75-year tradition will continue next week at the Asheboro Armory. The Asheboro Kiwanis Club will hold its annual Pancake Day on Tuesday, March 19.

The club will offer pancakes, sausage and beverages for lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and supper from 3:30-8 p.m. Patrons can opt for dine-in, take-out, or drive-thru during those times. Prior to 2020, the club offered breakfast options but has eliminated the early shift since.

The Pancake Day event is the primary fundraiser for the Asheboro Kiwanis Club and dates back to the 1940s. Former state senator Russell Walker was the inspiration for the event which has brought locals together for a simple meal and great fellowship for a good cause.

The mission of the Kiwanis Club is to improve the lives of children and the communities in which they live. In Asheboro, that mission is accomplished through support for youth activities throughout the year including American Legion Baseball, youth athletics, scholarships and Operation Red Sleigh. The club also supports many other local organizations, like Salvation Army, Randolph County Partnership for Children, Victory Junction Gang Camp, Key Club, Miss Randolph County Scholarship Pageant, and the Boys and Girls Club.

Pancake Day typically generates more than $20,000 from the all-you-can eat event. It takes more than 75 volunteers, exceeding the entire membership of the club, to pull off the event. The club typically calls on members’ spouses and other local volunteers to ensure enough volunteers — including pancake and sausage cookers.

Lynne Qualls, current Asheboro Kiwanis Club president, said her favorite part of the event is seeing the impact the funds have on the community through “projects for children.”

“I enjoy talking to folks supporting us and seeing old friends each year,” Qualls said.

The event was originally staged as a pancake supper in downtown Asheboro. As more and more locals attended, the event moved and expanded beyond just “supper.” It has been hosted at the National Guard Armory at 1430 South Fayetteville Street in Asheboro since 1973, according to the club.

In addition to sourcing its volunteers from the local community, the club also gets its sausage locally from Thomas Brothers. Ricky Thomas at Thomas Brothers said his company planned to deliver over 8,000 sausage patties for this year’s event. Asked how many years his company has worked on the Pancake Day, Thomas said he didn’t know for sure but it was “a long time.”

“They do a lot of good for the community,” Thomas said. “We love working with Kiwanis.” Thomas Brothers also provides a refrigerated truck to help keep supplies cold.

Patrons and volunteers alike cite the opportunity to come together as a community as one of the best aspects of the event and President-elect and chairman of the Pancake Day committee. Tony Hoover agrees. “Meeting the people in the community and sharing about what Kiwanis does is my favorite part,” said Hoover. “It’s our major fundraiser for the year, the funds go to help kids and help organizations that help kids.”

Hoover said he anticipates around 25 cooks this year between sausage and pancake duties.

Asheboro City Councilman and Kiwanis Club board member Eddie Burks echoed the sentiments of Qualls and Hoover saying his favorite part of the event is the “fellowship.” But, Burks says to not sleep on the pancakes themselves. “They’re arguably the best pancakes anywhere,” said Burks in an interview with Randolph Record.

The 75th Annual Asheboro Kiwanis Club’s Pancake Day tickets are $8 and are available from any Asheboro Kiwanis Club member and at the door.