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‘It really does take a village’: Six months after robbery Kenzieville Community Centre serves hundreds at annual Maple Syrup Festival

Ginette Sutherland making pancakes mix from scratch
Ginette Sutherland making pancakes mix from scratch - Brendan Ahern

Half a century of tradition at the Kenzieville community centre continued on Saturday with its pancake breakfast fundraiser.

“When we started it over fifty years ago we’d get over 1000 people,” said Reta Robertson. She’s been volunteering with the Kenzievlle Maple Syrup Festival every year since.

At 11:40 on Saturday, there had already been 221 people served with more coming. More than 20 volunteers worked the floor, serving the crowded hall with homemade pancakes, sausages, and, of course, maple syrup.

“And this is not Aunt Jemima. This is real maple syrup,” said George Wright who was sitting next to Robertson at a table with his family.

A well-practiced workflow at every stage in the meal has been on the go since Thursday when volunteers started filling huge mixing bowls with homemade pancake mix.

“It really does take a village,” said Mandy Dewar beside one of the hot grills where a fresh batch was cooking.

Arlene Baker bringing seconds to a table in the packed Kenzieville Community Centre hall at the Maple Syrup Festival on April 20.
Arlene Baker bringing seconds to a table in the packed Kenzieville Community Centre hall at the Maple Syrup Festival on April 20.

All the money raised on Saturday goes to cover maintenance costs at the community centre, which last Fall had been robbed of its copper pipes. At that time Dewar was preparing the building for her husband’s birthday party.

“We came in to clean the place and there was no water,” she said, adding that, “We still had the party.”

And the pipes have since been replaced with plastic ones.

“This is our major fundraiser for the year,” said Arlene Baker, secretary treasurer and president at the community centre. “It’d be nice to see it used more.”

Today’s event is over, but people wishing to rent the welcoming space can contact Baker at 902 924 2912.

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