Johnstown Independent

Pancake breakfast

American Legion Post 254's biggest fundraiser set for March 15


The American Legion Post 254's biannual pancake breakfast has been a fundraiser for the organization for as long as its members can remember.

After the event's small auction included a golf package last year, organizers realized they could be much more productive by emphasizing golf packages along with the pancakes.

The American Legion Post 254 Pancake Day and Golf Auction Extravaganza will be from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 15, at 85 W. Douglas St.

"I'm not a golfer," Post 254 member and former commander Bruce Tolle said. "I had no idea that people would pay as much as they pay to play golf. I was flabbergasted to see how much money we raised."

So Tolle went to work approaching golf courses and soon realized more than 50 courses and clubs were within a 20-mile radius of Johnstown.

This year, the auction features more than 10 golf packages from courses like Kyber Run and Northstar Golf Club, whose managers were eager to help the cause of the American Legion. Even private clubs that typically don't allow anyone other than members are represented this year.

The auction, which began as a secondary part of the pancake main event, once featured such prizes as car washes or items that people hadn't opened around the house. But once a golf package was introduced, the emphasis quickly changed.

Tolle said that with the increase in golf packages, the post hopes for an even better turnout than in the past, when the event drew an estimated 300 guests. The number never is officially counted, he said, and the inconsistent flow of people makes an estimate difficult.

"Some people come in real early and then leave and have to go to work or something," he said. "Other people come in later; some hang around for a long time."

Post 254 uses funds raised at the event for various events and donations in the community. The post donates American flags to sports teams and firehouses and provides grave markers and flags to military funerals, among other donations.

The funds also will go toward events like the Easter egg hunt, Fourth of July fireworks, the Miss Firecracker pageant and Toys for Tots, as well as several other recurring activities.

Tolle said the American Legion has had to pick up the slack for other organizations that have folded over the years.

"We do approximately -- in my unscientific estimate -- 85 percent of the community projects around the Johnstown area," he said, noting that the Lions Club and firefighters have their own events, as well.

Entry is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12.