Gideons Pancake Day not a ‘total flop’

Tana Adams
Published on February 18, 2016

Volunteer Basil Saunders, pictured here with Rev. Madonna Boone, helped with the Pancake Day breakfast put on by the Gideons.


It was a tough trek through the snow that fell overnight and on Shrove Tuesday, for the Gideon’s first Pancake Day breakfast.

About 30 did show up for the fundraiser at the Springdale Pentecostal Church multipurpose room.
Patrons were treated to a hot mug of coffee or cup of tea with pancakes, bologna and orange slices on the side.
The Pancake Day ritual leads into Lent and “shriving” for Easter. The tradition is popular throughout the province, but the pancakes at the church didn’t contain coins or thimbles as many families would.
Formerly known as the Green Bay Chapter of Gideons International,  money raised has traditionally been used for the distribution of free bibles to Grade 5 students in the Green Bay area.
The local chapter has traditionally been all-male but recently welcomed two women.
Member Keith Young said only in Canada since 2012 women have been allowed to join, following a change surrounding equal rights legislation pertaining to organizations.  
“We had to break away from the Gideons in the United States,” said Young.
Last year the group raised $15,000 with a goal to collect $16,000 this year. This goes towards helping send youth groups to places like Haiti and China.
This year some of the money will be used to help bring a Syrian refugee family to Corner Brook.
He knows of only a single incident in this province where someone was turned away due to differences in the Gideon policy, which at the time conflicted with that person’s Roman Catholic beliefs, the only denomination he’s aware of where difficulties tend to arise.
The Gideons’ involvement through the international association has helped them distribute bibles to an area in South America where children have been orphaned as a result of parents leaving to seek work.
The local chapter is also planning another moose dinner this spring.
Young extended an open welcome from the group, which is now in its 25th year.
“We would love to have a member for every denomination in Green Bay,” he said.