Big breakfast benefits CherryBlossom Loaves & Fishes Center

See what you missed if you didn’t join us at this delicious, fundraising event for the Meals on Wheels people …

Are the blueberry pancakes good? This young man, Benno Lee, says the breakfast is delicious!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
More and more folks are coming every year to the CherryBlossom Loaves & Fishes Center’s Annual Pancake Breakfast – a hearty meal featuring pancakes, fresh fruit compote, eggs & sausage or bacon, biscuits & gravy, coffee tea, milk, or orange juice.

Although it was Spring Break weekend, the 12th annual Pancake Breakfast on March 28 found the tables at the Center’s dining room in the East Portland Community Center filled with hungry diners.

Volunteer Larecia McNett happily serves up another cup of joe.

Volunteer effort pays off
Because all of the servers and kitchen staff are volunteers – primarily from the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers’ Local 63 at Boeing – and because much of the food is donated, all of the proceeds go directly to support the center’s programs.

“In addition to the good, steady crowd of visitors,” commented the center’s director, Bennett Bailey, “many people gave an extra donation, over the suggested price of the breakfast.”

The fundraiser is important, Bailey explained, “because it helps us achieve our mission – ‘that no senior will go hungry, or experience social isolation’ – by offsetting the cost of meals for those who can’t afford to pay for themselves.”

Taking the heat in the kitchen are volunteers Kyle Weston, Ron Breunig, Susan Black, and Janis Crandell.

Bailey, who manages the programs at both the CherryBlossom Center and the IRCO meal sites in outer East Portland, reminded us that the organization provides sit-down meals in their own facility, as well as a delivery service to clients’ homes.

“In addition to delivering meals, our volunteer drivers also provide social interaction with our clients. We have about 55 volunteers each day serving 500 to 600 meals to homebound seniors.”

You can help
They’re always in need of volunteer drivers, Bailey told us. “By the way we do reimburse 40 cents a mile, to offset the cost of fuel.”

Contact him by calling (503) 953-8104; or send an e-mail to

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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