By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
February dawns, bringing Groundhog Day and Shrove Tuesday pancake plans.
Making St. George’s Anglican Church in Grafton your Pancake Brunch destination on Feb. 13 can not only fill your tummy – it can help put a dent in the community’s affordable-housing challenge.
For the second year in a row, organizers have declared the Pancake Brunch a fundraiser for Habitat For Humanity Northumberland. With luck, they will equal or even exceed last year’s total, which Habitat Chief Administrative Officer Cathy Borowec said was in excess of $2,000.
Sharon O’Connor of the St. George Social Justice Team said this project began last year, when Rev, Helena-Rose Houldcroft had the idea of holding a pancake brunch. Dick Raymond of the church’s men’s group (who have cooked weekly community breakfasts since way back before the pandemic) suggested making it a fundraiser.
Between Raymond’s group and her own, O’Connor said, it was a lot of fun for everyone. And not that much work for her group, she added. They made it clear, since the men were cooking, that they would set up and clean up. Then the men pitched in and did most of that too,
The Friday breakfasts these guys cook have a faithful following, she said, and the attraction is more than just the fellowship and the great toasted Western sandwiches.
“They serve with such kindness. You don’t feel you are being rushed or that you are putting them out,” O’Connor said. And that’s also the case with the Pancake Brunch.
On Feb. 13, the event runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (the mid-day spot being a way to ensure that those who come do not have to drive home in the dark, she noted).
The men’s group will cook the meal, and O’Connor’s team will provide sweets for that extra touch of indulgence before Ash Wednesday.
The meal is free, and donations to Habitat are welcome. Borowec confirmed that a group from Habitat will be attending again and, like last year, will provide special envelopes for anyone who would like a tax-deductible receipt for his or her donation.
“We’re just very thankful for all the support this church has given,” she said, mentioning the site services that O’Connor’s group has provided.
That would be the lunches they have catered for the Habitat crews at work on a Baltimore build which will see affordable townhouses erected on County Road 45. While O’Connor’s group does the catering, she said, a sizeable donation made by Raymond’s group was invaluable to the effort. The donation was big enough to purchase some of the delicious wares at Grafton’s own Lass & Ladle to take to the workers – sandwiches one day, fresh salads another, hot soup on a third.
“This little church – if you ask them to do something, they come back 150%!” O’Connor declared.
And while the distinct majority of those in her group are past their 60th birthday, every one of them pitches in as best they can.
“We come up with the ideas, and St. George’s runs with it – you cannot believe how this little church does what it does.
“It’s an amazing little church.”
You can see for yourself Feb. 13, when St. George’s (and Habitat) welcome you for your Shrove Tuesday meal.
St. George’s is located at 10792 County Rd. 2 in Grafton, and everyone is welcome.