Hays Lions Club annual supper at the National Guard Armory raises money for community causes

About 3,200 people showed up with their appetites Tuesday for the annual pancake feed hosted by the 50-member Hays Lions Club.

The 42nd Annual Standlee Dalton Sausage and Pancake Feed at the National Guard Armory started early in the morning and continued throughout the evening, with Hays Scout Troop 101, busing tables and cleaning up.

The 93-year-old Troop, with more than 50 boys and girls who are members, has been helping at the pancake feed for at least 30 years, said 101’s Scoutmaster Keith Eilts, of Hays, as the supper was coming to a close.

“These Lions guys, their knees are dying right now, they’ve been doing this since about 6, 7 o’clock this morning. People don’t realize this is an all-day event, and they’re tired,” Eilts said. “So we’re in here, we’re going to help them in any way we can to help clean up.”

One of the Lions’ three largest fundraisers for the year, member Warren Shaffer said money raised by the service club helps many different organizations in the community.

In particular, the Lions’ main mission is eyesight.

“If anyone in town is indigent and needs glasses, we pay for that,” said Shaffer. “The Salvation Army does the screening for us.”

Famous pancake maker and flipper Jim Kuper was on hand again this year, making the trip from Council Bluffs, Iowa. Kuper is paid by the plate, with the Lions taking their profit from the remainder, usually about $3,400, said Shaffer. Adults pay $6.50 for pancakes, sausage and milk, coffee or tea, and kids pay $4.50.

The Pancake Man goes above and beyond making cakes, to entertaining as well, dazzling with intermittent flipping tricks.

“He’s a master at flipping,” Shaffer said. “I saw him do a backwards flip and it landed perfectly.”

The feed is named for Standlee Dalton, a former Fort Hays State University dean who started the annual pancake supper and shepherded it for many years. This year, Lions Field Marshall Dee Bodine organized the event.

Some proceeds for the Lions community donations also come from the sale of brooms at the annual feed, said JoAnn Berens, of Hays, who was manning a table Tuesday evening filled with brooms for every purpose.

“Everybody when they think of Lions Club, they think of brooms,” Berens said. “Because they've been doing it for years.”