Pancakes and hula wake Hanalei

HANALEI — So many people came through the line Sunday, the North Shore Lions ran through the 800 silverware bundles prepared for their Pancakes and Hula fundraiser.

That’s not all that ran out.

“We ran out of eggs, syrup and even the silverware,” said pancake chef Gary Pacheco, who relinquished his spatula to Sal Ochoa for a break. “I’ve been at this since we started. We had to send people to the markets to replace the items we ran out of. We even recycle the tickets as long as the food holds out.”

Pacheco was grateful to be so busy, though, because the Lions

 also have a record number of scholarship applications.

Pacheco said the event, as well as applications, were “record breaking.”

“This Pancakes and Hula is our biggest single fundraising event to help our scholarship program,” said Lion Kalani Walther. “We have 40 applications for scholarships which we have to try and help.”

Frank Hudson was busy trying to keep up with the take-out orders  at the Hanalei Elementary School cafeteria.

“This is hard,” Hudson said. “I’m doing this in memory of Mike Taylor. This is the first time I’m doing this without Mike and they’re making me work too hard.”

Lion Alan Faye,  who was helping Edie Taylor with ticket sales at the four-hour event, said Taylor was a retired captain of a 747 jetliner and a very active North Shore Lion. 

Throughout the morning, hula halau from the community performed song and hula. 

The Kamehameha Schools Chorus offered the dancers a respite before presenting at a special service at the neighboring Waioli Mission.

“The North Shore Lions try to give something to everyone who applies (for scholarships),” said Haunani Pacheco, Gary’s wife. “This is such a good event for a great cause and people look forward to it.”

Greta Zanko of Minnesota wanted a photo with the special poster announcing the event as proof of their visit. 

“This is our 1,000th visit to Kauai,” Zanko said with a smile. “We should know where all the good events are. Larry has one of the last remaining shirts for the Pancakes and Hula.”

Lions from other clubs, some as far away as Waimea, trekked to Hanalei in support of the event.

“We had Lions from the East Kauai club who said they stopped trying to better this event,” Walther said. “They said our event was better.”

The breakfast included non-stop entertainment, a silent auction and an abundance of fellowship and community.

“This is not me,” said Lion Louis LaFratta, second-year chairman of the event. “All of the guys know what they’re doing every year. Everyone pitches in behind the scenes, and when something is running low, everyone reacts. This is one of the best performances of the North Shore Lions Club.”

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