Annual Elks breakfast benefits Friends of Parks and Recreation

Published 12:30 pm Friday, March 10, 2023

At a location in Winchester last Saturday morning, the smell of eggs, bacon, sausage, and more filled the air as coffee, juice, and drinks delighted those who filled their stomachs.

Yet this wasn’t McDonald’s or your everyday fast-food chain.

Instead, at Winchester Elks Lodge #2816 – at 255 Shoppers Drive – the Elks Benefit Breakfast took place to the delight of dozens who attended.

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Money from the event went to the Friends of Parks and Recreation.

“It’s open to the public for $8 for a buffet,” said Tiffany Fletcher, the assistant programming director for Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation. “You come and eat good food, and Friends of Park [and Recreation] gets to keep 100% of those profits.”

Friends of Parks and Recreation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicates its efforts to supporting the mission of Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation through fundraising efforts.

It seeks to promote health and leisure opportunities to make community life more active and convenient.

Friends of Parks and Recreation recently earned a Gold Seal of Transparency in 2022.

“Two of the big things that Friends of Parks [does] is we fund our little preschool splash class that gives swim lessons to preschool children from Clark County Preschool,” Fletcher added. “The other thing we do with that money is summer camp scholarships.”

Thus, life-saving techniques and water safety practices were taught, while it also provided outdoor activities when kids are out of school.

Plenty of time was given for those looking to enjoy breakfast, as the event ran from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Several notable local figures came out.

Among them were Magistrates Ernest Pasley, Dan Konstantopoulos, Greg Elkins, Mayor JoEllen Reed, former Mayor Ed Burtner, Judge-Executive Les Yates, and City Commissioner Kitty Strode.

Other Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation staff members – including Director Jeff Lewis and Program Director April Stanfield – also appeared.

The turnout looked to exceed last year’s.

“Last year, we broke records. They had to go back to the store three times for us,” Fletcher said. “This year, we’re hoping to do it, and I think we’re doing pretty good. I think we’re right on track to either meet or exceed our goal from last year.”

The large attendance comes despite heavy winds from the day before that caused electrical outages and other inconveniences for many Winchester residents.

Besides the food mentioned previously, the buffet also included biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and more.

While this is the second Elks Benefit Breakfast in partnership with Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation, the two organizations are – fortunately – familiar.

“We have a really good partnership with the Elks, and this is just another way of [reciprocating that] relationship,” Fletcher added.

Perhaps most notably, she and the staff are grateful for what Clark County and Elks Lodge #2816 can do for the community.

“We know Clark County loves their youth, and this is one way that they can show it,” she said. “They show it for us every time, so we appreciate them.”