The smell of hotcakes and butter filled the air Friday in one of Wellington’s favorite traditions — the annual Kiwanis Pancake Day.
“Everybody loves to fill up,” said Paul Wilson, president of the service club’s local chapter.
Over the course of 12 hours, he expected to serve up to 2,000 pancakes and 1,000 sausage links, filling about 500 hungry bellies.
Food and advertising sales helped raise money for scholarships for two graduating Wellington High School seniors, as well as the district’s trust fund.
“We try to get kids to sign up for a college fund. If they put $50 down when they’re young, we match it,” Wilson said.
This year’s Pancake Day will also benefit playgrounds at Union School Park, Westwood Elementary School and the Wellington Recreation Park on Johns Street.
Among those, the Westwood play area is the club’s top priority, Wilson said, because it gets the most use.
In November, Wellington school board member Ayers Ratliff said the playground was deemed by insurers to be in bad shape.
He said it needs $20,000 in repairs, and suggested asking local groups to pitch in for a new playground surface and equipment.
That $20,000 estimate was far off the mark, Ratliff said Friday — it will take $80,000 to $100,000 “to do it right instead of putting in something small that won’t last,” he said.
The Wellington K-Kids, overseen by Kiwanis, has agreed to give $5,000 and the Westwood parent cooperative will chip in too.
Ratliff said there are some reservations about the effort because Westwood’s future is uncertain. An $8.7 million ballot issue in March for repairs at the aging school, but without the money Board of Education members have said they may have to close the building.
“That does raise the question of why we’d have a playground there if there’s no school,” Ratliff said.