Editorial: This takes the (pan)cake

Support fundraiser to help firefighters complete training facility
Feb. 04, 2013 @ 12:05 AM

The Sevier County Fire Chiefs Association is behind a training facility off Ridge Road that will allow members and those from outside the county to learn skills and get in practice time so they can be better at their job. The facility is under construction, but money still must be raised to finish it.

Thanks to a partnership with Collier Restaurant Group, the association will soon find its bank account enlarged a good bit. In celebration of National Pancake Day, Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin will host pancake suppers at locations in Pigeon Forge, Kodak, Sevierville and the 146 Parkway location in Gatlinburg. Tickets for the Feb. 12 event are $5 each and available at any fire department in Sevier County. Each ticket includes a meal of pancakes, sausage or bacon, and beverage.

“Collier Restaurant Group raised over $40,000 in past years for the Fire Chiefs Association, and we’re excited to continue helping them reach their goal,” said owner Brent Collier. “We’re so glad to partner with Matt Henderson, president of the Sevier County Fire Chiefs Association, on this fundraiser, and we look forward to having a little fun that night with the guys.”

A pancake eating contest is held at each location, involving firefighters from all departments. The overall winner gets a donation made to the association in his name. The firefighters will also be serving tables for tips that night.

The 14.2-acre training facility will exist to train volunteer and career firefighters and offer training to firefighters from out of county to help cover the cost of maintaining the facility. The association has purchased training equipment and structures that were housed and stored in separate locations.

The association received a $475,000 federal grant and then secured financing for $400,000. The facility is 85 percent complete, and the proceeds from the pancake fundraiser will be used to help complete the project, said Henderson. The facility is functional now and the first class was taught in December.

This is a fundraising project all should embrace and support. You get a nice meal and help firefighters complete a much-needed training facility. Stop by a fire station today and buy your tickets.