COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The scent of warm pancakes and fresh coffee filled the sunlit cafeteria. Families gathered at tables, pouring syrup over their plates. Easterseals of West Georgia Inc. was hosting it’s bi-annual pancake breakfast fundraiser.

From 7 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 19, locals could visit the non-profit organization’s Double Churches Road location for unlimited pancakes, sausage, coffee, milk and orange juice for an entry fee of $5 per person. According to Easterseals of West Georgia CEO Lakisha Taylor, all proceeds go toward supporting Easterseals programs and services for children and adults with disabilities.

“We’ve been doing these pancake breakfasts for a number of years,” said Easterseals of West Georgia Vice President of Management and Development Michael Willey.

He continued, “It means so much for the community, to have them come in, see our facilities, see what we do firsthand.”

According to Willey, most of Easterseals events occur outside, but the pancake breakfast offers a unique opportunity for guests to enter the building. In order to provide more information about Easterseals’ services, screens in the hallway leading to the cafeteria played informational videos.

Mary Catherine Smith came to the pancake breakfast with her family. They sat around one of the tables chatting as they ate their breakfast around 8:30 a.m.

“It’s been really pleasant, really nice,” said 26-year-old Mary Catherine Smith, who came to the breakfast with her family. They were some of the earlier guests to arrive and sat around a table chatting around 8:30 a.m.

Smith said she was glad to observe the impact of Easterseals’ work with the local disability community.

Another guest, 67-year-old Virginia Maddox, explained her sister had told her about the event. She said she enjoyed the experience and the pancakes.

Although Smith and Maddox came to the event in person, Willey explained many others also took their breakfasts to-go or ordered pickup ahead of time. For groups larger than 10, a delivery option was also available.

Willey said the organization had already sent out delivery orders to Kia, St. Francis hospital and multiple fire stations that morning. By the end of the event, he expected 250 to 300 dine-in guests would come by. Over 100 had already visited for breakfast by 9 a.m.

In total, Willey estimated, the event would raise approximately $5,000 to $6,000 for Easterseals services.

“[The fundraiser] represents us being able to be a part of the community and engage with the community,” said Taylor, continuing, “but also being able to help support and keep services affordable for our families.”

Taylor added Easterseals will host another pancake breakfast on Feb. 3, 2024. It will also have a “Walk with Me” event and golf tournament fundraiser later that year.