“The community comes together for the community,” Varon said.
Money will go to children’s charities, as well as participating school groups like Burbank High football and the Burroughs band.
Escalating unemployment and a difficult economy have taken a toll on charitable giving throughout the nation. The Love Ride, which bills itself as the single largest one-day motorcycle charity event in the world, was canceled last month because of low registration and sponsorships.
But in Burbank, Kiwanis organizers said citizens continue to open their arms — and their checkbooks.
“People want to help others,” Varon said. “Cheerleaders are bringing us money; football players are bringing money. Everybody’s doing it.”
Burbank Mayor Gary Bric flipped a few pancakes and praised Kiwanis’ dedication.
“They do such great work for the city, and it goes right back into the city,” he said. “It’s just a great community event.”
Several organizers boasted of their 20- or 30-year Kiwanis membership. “Kiwanis” was adopted from an American Indian expression meaning “we share our talents,” according to Kiwanis International. The club dates back to 1915 and has grown to about 8,000 clubs in 96 countries with more than 250,000 adult members.
Tori Park, a freshman at Burbank high, sold tickets to the event with her friends.
“We thought it’d be nice to have breakfast outside,” she said.
Attendees were were surprised by the number of hungry participants.
“It’s nice to see all these people supporting local organizations,” Tori’s father, Ian Park said. “They must be doing something right.”
Residents were willing to wait for their breakfast.
“Anything to help a charity,” said city employee Paul Ramsey. “That’s why we’re waiting in line.”
Sammy Lee, a junior at Burbank High, brought along three of her friends, including Sara Shahmoradian, a junior at Crescenta Valley High.
“I like waking up at 8:30, I don’t know about you,” said Shahmoradian.
The girls began laughing.
“I’m glad I brought my most sarcastic friend,” Lee said.