Borrowing from a steeped tradition from England, the Adult Sunday School Class of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cherokee conceived the event for Cherokee, and then went to work to make it happen with outstanding success.
The race began at City Hall and ended 415 yards later at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, at the top of Piety Hill on West Main Street. There, more than 300 people dined at a pancake fundraiser benefiting Cherokee's two food pantries.
Event organizers expected to raise about $500 from the free-will donations for the pancake feed, and when they totaled the revenue, more than $2,200 was received!
Wendy Slaughter won the race, posting the fastest time of 1:31.26, followed by Shanna Erdmann 1:32.25, Aurora Buschkamp 1:33.25, Liza Fuller 1:35.84, Jessica deVega 1:40.82, Allie Parker 1:41.79, Jessica Cedar 1:46.23, Amy Westger 1:47.08, Korrie Waldner 1:50.55, and Sue Nelson 1:52.25, the top 10 finishers. Also finishing under two minutes were Mary Letsche, Madison Miller, and Deb Hankens.
An all-around Team Award was presented to the "Flippin' Hearts," comprised of Dr. Pat Harrison, Linda Burkhart, Emily Pierce, and Cherie Holton.
The team with the best team speed in the race was "The Graduates," comprised of Aurora Buschkamp, Jessica Cedar, and Allie Parker, all three finishing in the top seven runners.
The race officials included, Starter - Pastor Ethan Saylor of Memorial Presbyterian Church; Official Timer - Pastor Jim Steen of Bethlehem Lutheran Church; Toss Master - Pastor Larry Ostercamp of Meriden Evangelical Church; Finish Line Judge - Father Armand Bertrand of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church; and Supervising Vicar - Pastor Magrey DeVega of St. Paul's United Methodist Church.
John Cook and fellow members of the St. Paul's United Methodist Church organized the event from start to finish, and have vowed to make it an annual event each Shrove Tuesday.
"It's overwhelming how much fun was had by all, and how the churches and this community pulled together to totally bask in the spirit of the Pancake Day Race," said Cook. "We're already making plans for next year."