Cars lined the streets on Saturday morning and people hungry for their monthly fix of homemade pancakes with locally-grown handpicked blueberries and crisp sausage. This was the last breakfast of the Scaly Mountain Women’s Club’s monthly Pancake Breakfast of the 2018 season.
“We don’t make much money on it but the community counts on it,” said Colette Clark, president of SMWC. “And because of this, 17 mountain kids have a scholarship for college.”
Money that is raised throughout the May-September pancake breakfast season goes towards scholarships for students in the Sky Valley/Scaly Mountain Fire District. The scholarships include $500 a semester for the student’s first three years, and $1,000 per semester their final year.
Clark added one of the first students to receive a SMWC scholarship who wasn’t high school aged was Gina Billingsley, now a math teacher at Highlands School.
The breakfast is held at the renovated Old Scaly Mountain School House on Buck Knob Road. People in line were eager to get their plates loaded with pancakes and sausage all in the name of supporting a good cause.
“Anything to support the Scaly Women’s Club,” said Highlands resident Jim Gaffey. “Things like this, and the decorations they put up each year for fall along (Hwy) 106, they are a beautiful entrance to the community. The Club’s philanthropic work is excellent.”
It’s not only scholarships the SMWC supports. They provide funds for a number of local nonprofits and organizations including Scaly Mountain Historical Society, Sky Valley/Scaly Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, Highlands Emergency Council and The Literacy Council, to name a few. Since the inception of the SMWC, the group has donated over $85,000.
Lorelai Anders, 9, was one of the “Future Scholars,” who volunteered at the pancake breakfast to help in any way they could.
“I’m going to be a marine biologist and I’m going to Harvard so a scholarship is good,” said Anders. “And I like pancakes but I like them plain, I don’t like blueberries. It’s pretty fun here and I like it because I get to help people.”
Anders’ mother Michelle Newman said it’s wonderful what the women’s club does for the community.
“To me they’re like a ministry, and they’re reaching every age group,” said Newman. “I love that they’re doing scholarships and that they’re helping people going off to college.”
Tracy Franklin attended the breakfast for a plateful of cakes and to support the Club’s mission.
“I think it’s amazing that they’re here doing this,” said Franklin. “It’s such a small community and it’s so nice to have a family environment here.”
SMWC member Barbara Anderson said last year the Club raised $3-4,000, and that includes pancake sales and other donations. She added that club members handpicked the organic blueberries and said they have the bee stings to prove it.
The SMWC’s next event is “Chocolate Fantasy,” held at the craft show at the Highlands Civic Center from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on October 13. For more information call Peggy Payne, at info@ScalyMountainWomensClub.org or (828) 526-9585.
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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