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Charles City Lions serve up a mobile pancake breakfast

  • Ella Davis, age 6, enjoys her pancakes and sausage in Central Park Sunday morning during the Lions Club’s drive-thru breakfast. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Masked Lions Club members delivered pancakes and sausage right to vehicles Sunday morning during the Lions Club’s drive-thru breakfast. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Masked Lions Club members flipped pancakes all morning Sunday during the Lions Club’s drive-thru breakfast. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Ella Davis, age 6, drove through on her bike and got pancakes and sausage delivered right into her basket Sunday morning during the Lions Club’s drive-thru breakfast. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Masked Lions Club members flipped pancakes all morning Sunday during the Lions Club’s drive-thru breakfast. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Ella Davis, age 6, enjoys her pancakes and sausage in Central Park Sunday morning during the Lions Club’s drive-thru breakfast. (Press photo James Grob.)

By James Grob, jgrob@charlescitypress.com

It’ll probably be about 10 years before Ella Davis is driving a car.

In the meantime, the 6-year-old manages to get around pretty well on her bike. Well enough to get her share of pancakes, anyway.

Under the watchful eye of her grandmother, Ella peddled through the Charles City Lions Club drive-thru on Sunday morning and got herself some breakfast, which she ate on a bench, under sunny blue skies in Central Park.

Although eating utensils were not part of the deal, a Lions Club member was kind enough to bring Ella a clean fork and even a napkin, so she wouldn’t get too sticky from the maple syrup.

Ella said the pancakes were delicious.

The service club normally holds its pancake breakfast at the Northeast Iowa Airport around the July 4th holiday, but instead went with a drive-thru approach this year, at Central Park on Sunday.

“We just wanted to give it a try and see how it went, and I think, all-in-all, it didn’t do too bad,” said Lions Club member DeLaine Freeseman. “We are a service club, so we felt we should just get out there and do something, while being as careful as we could.”

The annual breakfast has been held at the airport for more than 20 years, and usually includes plane rides and other fun attractions. With the COVID-19 precautions, the club put that on the shelf this year.

“We still wanted to do something, and a couple of our members came up with this drive-thru idea,” Freeseman said. “We decided to try it and see how it goes, and try to have a little fun with it.”

Pancakes and sausage were brought directly to cars — or in Ella’s case, to her bike — along with butter and syrup, for $5. Approximately 300 meals were served, which Freeseman said is a little less than half of the number served in a normal year at the airport.

Freeseman said the Lions weren’t expecting to bring in as many people as they would in a typical year, and club members were just happy to serve the public during these unusual and difficult times.

“We got several nice comments from people who appreciated the drive-thru, and thanked us for doing it,” he said. “I’m very happy and very thankful for all the folks who came out and supported us.”

The pancake breakfast is one of the Lions Club’s biggest fundraisers, along with its annual book sale, which will be held in Oct. 14-24 this year. The money raised goes back to the Lions Club for continued Charles City community philanthropy.

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