NSU’s Alumni Pavilion and Tailgate area was the place for a great breakfast and family fun Saturday, October 9 as the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club held its annual Pancake Festival, mile run and 5-K Race. Kiwanis has been a feature on the Natchitoches civic scene since 1946. The race is a relatively recent addition to the long-standing annual pancake breakfast. The Kiwanians served up well over 300 pancake and sausage breakfasts to a hungry crowd of 157 runners, family members and supporters
This year’s race continued a new feature that adds to the fun. At several stations on the course, volunteers would throw up colorful clouds of powdered paint for the runners to pass through. Several inflatable bounce houses were on hand to keep the younger set (to include several members of the NSU Pom Line) entertained.
The traditional pancake flipping and tossing contest for bragging rights was between Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams, Police Chief Nikeo Collins and NSU 2021 Homecoming Queen Madeleine Hensley. Despite some fierce competition from the municipal duo, Ms. Henley handily kept the Golden Spatula award in NSU’s possession, building on former NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio’s three prior wins.
Various NSU student organizations volunteered to assist with the event. NSU’s Cheerleaders and Pom line were at the race’s finish to cheer on runners as they completed the course. The women’s basketball team painted children’s faces. NSU’s E-Sports team, WRAC trainers and intramural workers were joined by NSU’s Rowing team in handing out water and throwing colors on runners. The US Army Recruiting Station had a tent at the race and Staff Sergeants Clint Lawrence and Tiffany Gourdon ran the 5-K race with their families. Lifeshare was also on hand for a blood drive.
The event was a fun way to raise money for a serious cause. The 34 members of the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club are part of an international organization of civic minded people in Clubs all over the world. The Natchitoches Kiwanis sponsors the well-known “Terrific Kids” program recognizing outstanding students in our schools. They also buy books for schools, just a few of the 10-15 service projects the club does each year.
The Pancake Breakfast is the main fundraiser held each year to support these worthy efforts.