Grand Lake Rotarians flip for flapjack breakfast |

Grand Lake Rotarians flip for flapjack breakfast

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

File Photo

For 32 years, rain or shine without fail, Grand Lake Rotarians have turned the Heckert Pavilion into a lively breakfast bonanza during Fourth of July.

This year, they’re setting up to serve about 700 guests on Saturday, but if it turns out like one past year, they’ll be serving closer to 1,000.

How does one shop to accommodate all-you-can-eat for that many hungry mouths?

Try 20 gallons of syrup, 300 pounds of pancake mix and 200 pounds of sausage, prepared on three grills with an animated group of volunteer cooks and servers.

“It takes us three days to set up and about 45 minutes to tear down,” said Rotarian Glenn Harrington.

And the patriarch of the pancake, Frank Appelhans ” endearingly referred to as Mr. Pancake ” can flip ’em better than anyone.

He’ll even make stacks with Mickey-Mouse ears, and you don’t have to be under 12 years to request them.

Appelhans has been on the pancake line since it first formed.

It was he and the late Jerry Beal who started the breakfasts in Grand Lake, fashioned after the meals served by the former Kiwanis Club in Granby. The Rotary breakfasts were launched to fund the Rotary International Exchange Program.

Since then, “It’s grown quite a bit, actually,” Appelhans said. The event, which takes place twice a summer on the Fourth and again during Buffalo Barbecue Weekend ” this year July 19 ” has become the local club’s primary fundraiser.

Pancake proceeds support the Spitzmiller Scholarship Fund, making available $2,000 for each of three two-year-vocational-scholarship students. Leftover funds are put toward other area programs.

“I did the sausages for quite a few years,” Appelhans said, describing how he climbed the ladder of Pancake-dom, “and I couldn’t eat sausages for about a year after that. And then I graduated … I don’t know how it happened, but then I got to do pancakes.

“I like them, but after I cook them, I can’t eat any for about three months.”

“We rely on him for everything,” Harrington teased about Mr. Pancake.

“He makes all the decisions, and we do all the work.”

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail