Popular Pancake Fest benefits art programs at Knoxville Senior Center

Local News

Some say it’s the best kept secret in Knoxville. Every year people put their diets aside to enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes for a good cause.

The John T. O’Connor Senior Center hosted it’s annual Pancake Fest on Friday morning. Famous faces from East Tennessee cooked up pancakes as a way to support seniors in our community.

Organizers expected 1,200 people to dine at this year’s Pancake Fest.

“It’s worth getting up at 4 a.m., come on over, because you have a good time,” said senior Tommie Solomon.

“This is my first time and it’s an absolute blessing to come out here,” added Latasha Pridgen.

For just $5, people were raising money to help art programs at the senior center.

“The O’Connor band needs to have music. They need instruments. They also need stands and ways to be mobile because they get invited throughout the community to perform. Our singing seniors, they’re 80-plus years old in that group, and that’s a lot of music that has to be purchased,” said Sue Massnigill, manager of the senior center.

Massingill says they hope to raise $20,000 with this year’s 13th annual Pancake Fest.

“Even if we didn’t make any money, I still would do Pancake Fest because it’s such a fun community event,” she said.

Organizers say it’s more than just a fundraiser, many come simply to fellowship and make new friends.

“It was worth it the minute we walked in the door, meeting new faces,” said Pridgen.

At the heart of Pancake Fest is enriching seniors lives.

“I think it’s fantastic. I really do. I think this is a great place to come for everythig. They just have so many things going on here at the pool at the YMCA and here too,” added Solomon.

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