The Brownwood Kiwanis Club kicked off its largest fundraiser of the year, serving hundreds of supporters within the first 30 minutes Tuesday for its annual pancake supper.

The smell of grilled pancakes and sausage filled the air inside the coliseum as dozens of volunteers served hundreds of guest, who each attended because of the Kiwanis Club’s vast community outreach.

“Kiwanis does so much for the community. I teach at Coggin and they do a lot at Coggin Elementary,” Molly Demontel said. “They started the Bring up Your Grades program last year and they gave a bike to fourth, fifth and sixth grades. It’s such a great cause and the community in general has been nice … I love it and I love that a bunch of my students are here. That makes it even better.”

Kiwanis President-Elect Jerry Sims said in a previous story by The Bulletin the supper has about 50 volunteers serving between 2,000 to 3,000 meals. During the event, Kiwanis Board Member Tommy Blevins estimated the event brings in $6,000 to the organization, which is all funneled back into the community, and from looking at the early afternoon crowd Blevins believed Tuesday’s event was on track with previous years.

“There were people getting here at 4 o’clock. It’s just amazing,” Blevins said. “We will go until 7 p.m. It’s crazy … There are a multitude of reasons people come. It’s the camaraderie. If you look around, you see your neighbors, friends, people that work together. You get to see them away from the norm and you know the money that we raise is all going to a good cause.”

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. With that in mind, the club donates funds raised at its annual pancake supper, meetings and other fundraisers to area not-for-profit groups. Blevins touted every dollar raised Tuesday will go directly back to the community and correlated that with the immense outpouring of support they see each year.

“This event will generate $6,000 or $7,000 and 100 percent goes back to the youth,” Blevins said. “Except for the expense of putting it on, everything else goes into the community. They know it’s a good cause. They know it’s going to be an enjoyable evening and the main thing is what it goes for — helping the youth of the area.”

This year’s supper supported the following groups: Aktion Club, Boys and Girls Club,  Boy Scouts and Troop 22, Girl Scouts, Brown County Youth Fair, Brown County Youth Sports, Family Services Center, Brownwood Freshman League Baseball Team, CASA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Hope Home Ministry, Toys for Kids, Kids Fishing Tournament, Key Club at BISD at School, Arc Program of Brown County, Bringing Up Grades program for Brownwood Intermediate School, Texas RAMP project and Project Eliminate (jointly with UNICEF to eliminate Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus.