Habitat for Humanity, Millstone Basin Area

Monday, February 18, 2008

Habitat for Humanity Marks a Decade of Using Pancakes to Build Houses

Volunteerism is a large part of the Habitat for Humanity efforts – so, it seems, are pancakes as this year marks the 10th annual breakfast in support of Habitat’s building efforts.

“We welcome people to get involved with Habitat. Our volunteers are the people who help us to make a difference in the community,” said Glenn Fannick, president of Habitat for Humanity Millstone Basin Area.

The upcoming annual pancake breakfast is one the many special events that helps Habitat for Humanity Millstone Basin Area continue to help area families in need. The popular breakfast will be held again this year at St. Anthony’s Church Parish Hall, Maxwell Avenue and Franklin Street (Rt. 33), Hightstown, N.J., from 8:30 am to noon, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008.

Tickets can be purchased at the door only at $6 for adults and $3 for children – with no family being charged more than $20.

According to Michelle Lewis, the chair for special events, the event is a way to raise money for Habitat’s home-building efforts in and around Hightstown and East Windsor, a way to share a great breakfast with friends and a way to keep the organization known in the community.

As in previous years, the Rev. Pat McDonnell, the pastor of the parish, has opened the doors of St. Anthony Church hall as the venue for the event.

In order to coordinate the day, many people volunteer year after year. They offer not only their time and support, but they also help in keeping the spirit of the pancake breakfast alive.

People like those from the West Windsor Lions Club who help by sponsoring a 50-50 raffle each year. Lions Mike Lynch, Harley Pickens and Shep Bell again plan to lend a helping hand in this year’s raffle. There's Marie Gerland, a representative for Perritt Labs, who will again set up a product-testing station which gathers data on such things as medicine bottle safety. HFH will receive a donation for each person who participates.

The affiliate's youth group will be raising funds by offering for sale the popular “house pin” costume jewelry as well as “my plans for Saturday” T-shirts.

Jeanne McCarthy, the former Youth United Coordinator, and her replacements Kelly Spors and Chris Newmarker are working with youth teams who will also help in set-up, the serving of meals and clean-up.

New volunteers Barbara Harrington and Natalie Livoti along with Fannick and Lewis worked to solicit sponsorship from area businesses, both new and longtime supporters. Another new volunteer, Pat Zappavigna, lent a hand with many more phone calls. Their calls, visits and emails acted as friendly reminders to help keep the event in the minds of participants, who in turn invite other people to come out.

The ads were perfectly positioned on placemats by long-time volunteer Susan Mauro Miller, of Hightstown’s Visual Media Group, who uses her professional skills in support of the organization.

Both Denise Milot and Cathy Jackson have agreed to run the actual breakfast again this year. The dynamic duo oversees the purchasing, prepping and cooking of the foods. Both Denise and Cathy have done an excellent job in the past. On the day of the event, the pair will also “spearhead the decorating and the set-up of the hall,” said Lewis. Teamwork is a vital part of the success of the pancake breakfast.

In the past years the annual pancake breakfast has brought in well-over 300 participants and organizers are hoping for a record turnout this year.

For more information about the breakfast or for ways to support the local efforts of Habitat for Humanity visit habitatmba.org or e-mail info AT habitatmba DOT org.

-- Posted by Tracy J. Tyner

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