Pancake Breakfast serves community

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

You’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for the Sam Owen Fire District, it’s also an important fundraiser.

Area children get to try on the firefighting equipment and meet personnel. Photo courtesy of Sam Owen Fire District.

Area children get to try on the firefighting equipment and meet personnel. Photo courtesy of Sam Owen Fire District.

The Sam Owen Fire District will be hosting its 12th annual Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, July 23, at the Sam Owen Fire Station at the junction of Peninsula Road in Hope. The breakfast takes place from 7:30-11:00 a.m. and will be offering a steaming hot breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, juice and coffee or tea for only $5 for adults or $2.50 for children under 12.

The fundraiser has been a staple of the community since Don and Nuala Steinke first began hosting it. Steinke owned the KFC restaurant in Sandpoint some years ago.

“He and his family were the ones who originally thought this would be a good ideas as a fundraiser,” said Jane Holzer, volunteer with the Sam Owen Fire District. “They supplied all the food and did all the cooking. Don and his wife Nuala still live on the Peninsula and help with breakfast every year.”

Since the early days when the Pancake Breakfast was a way to “give back to the community,” it has since become the only fundraiser of the year for the all-volunteer Sam Owen Fire District. The monies raised are used for supplies for the firehouse, including uniforms, communication devices and important fire fighting equipment.

“We’ve got 20 volunteer firefighters,” said Holzer. “They are all volunteer and train three times a month. They answer all kinds of calls, not only fire and rescue, but emergency calls too. We’ve got past medics from the Navy, past wildland firefighters, pilots, CPAs—they all donate their time and expertise.

Holzer said over 70 people volunteer to help serve the pancake breakfast. Last year, they served 855 people in the morning.

“Since we have two RV parks and a campground on Sam Owen Peninsula, there is a tremendous influx of visitors,” said Holzer. “We were very surprised last year when we found that a number of Canadians actually schedule their vacations around when the pancake breakfast is.”

After breakfast, attendees are encouraged to tour the fire station and meet the firefighters. Children will have the opportunity to sit in the trucks, try on the uniforms and meet Phineas the firedog. There are even free prizes for children, including a Dalmatian Junior Firefighter hat.

The Sam Owen Fire District is committed to providing the highest level of fire protection and emergency services to all its residents, businesses and visitors. With several fully equipped firefighting and rescue vehicles, the district is able to respond to any fire or emergency situation. The rescue vehicle has the latest in extrication, land and water rescue equipment. The four-wheel drive wildlands vehicle can reach our most remote areas and many of the volunteers have completed intensive training in wildland firefighting.

To learn more about the Sam Owen Fire District and its services, or volunteer opportunities, contact fire chief Bob Wathen at 264-5745.

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