Johnstown Independent

Inadvertent fundraising conflict

Legion, youth group slate concurrent pancake breakfasts

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

There's no excuse for skipping breakfast in Johnstown on March 16.

Both the American Legion Post 254 and the Church of the Ascension youth group have scheduled pancake breakfast fundraisers for that morning.

"Apparently, they didn't know the American Legion was also having one," Church of the Ascension Deputy Grand Knight Richard Steyer said.

Post 254 Commander Bruce Tolle is disappointed.

"Nothing against them," he said. "I just wish it wasn't on the same day."

Both organizations agree it's too late to reschedule either event, so everyone's hoping the people of Johnstown are mighty hungry that morning.

Tolle said the semiannual Pancake Day event is a major source of income for Post 254 to finance the many community activities it sponsors throughout the year. He said he hopes the Pancake Day competition won't eat into the Legion's revenue.

"I feel certain we'll not have this happen in the future, but for now, my concern is to do all I can think of to generate enough traffic to make up for what we are bound to lose," he said.

Similarly, Church of the Ascension youth group leader Lauren Bogner said, the March 16 date is important to her group, too.

"The youth group is sponsoring the pancake breakfast on the 16th," she said. "There are no plans to change the date, as it coincides with funding that we need."

Tolle said the last thing he wants to do is begin any sort of Pancake Day rivalry, and he's sure that in the future, everyone will check to be certain of no conflicts when scheduling fundraising events. In the meantime, he said, the Legion is engaged in an email and flier blitz to generate attention for its Pancake Day.

"The Legion, of course, has nothing against any other group trying to raise money, be it a church group, youth group or any other group," he said. "However, the fact that their event is happening on the same day as ours makes it rather problematic for us."

Bogner said timing for the youth group's Pancake Day is critical.

"The youth group is new to Church of the Ascension this school year so our funding is very limited, in terms of resources and income," she said.

The group plans to attend the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis in November, she said, adding that the cost to attend per student and chaperon is $500.

"Since we are new, we are trying to raise enough money to attend this life-changing weekend for both students and their adult leaders," she said. "There are expected to be at least 25,000 other teens from all around the country attending this event in Indianapolis. In order for us to attend for the first time, the initial deposit of money is due on the 22nd of March so we need to raise money to fund that deposit for our teens."

The Post 254 pancake breakfast will run from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 16, at Searfoss Elementary School, 85 E. Douglas St., and will feature pancakes, sausage and beverages. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for those ages 5 and younger.

The youth group's Pancake Day is 9 a.m. to noon March 16 at Church of the Ascension, 555 S. Main St. (by the police station), and will feature crafts for children. All donations support the youth group.

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