Starting the day off on the right note

Town and Country Christian Church hosts free breakfast

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John Kingara, a Navy veteran who served as a cook, prepares batter for a new batch of pancakes during the Free Pancake Breakfast at Town and Country Christian Church Saturday. (Photo by Michael Pineda)

By Michael Pineda
Staff Writer

If breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, Town and Country Christian Church did its part to ensure Yukon got the weekend off to a great start.
The church hosted its bi-monthly Free Pancake Breakfast Saturday morning to anyone needing a good meal. Everyone was welcome, with donations accepted throughout the morning. Those attending were treated to pancakes and sausage. 

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“This is actually our third,” Richard Roper, Deacon of Family Living, said the morning of the breakfast. “Our first was just a tester. But this is our second and we are going to do this bi-monthly. The first one, we fed about 100. We are hoping to feed 150 this time but it looks like it will be less. At least it is starting out less.”

The ongoing fall break and Chisholm Trail Festival provided competition in the calendar, but attendance was still steady leading up to 10 a.m. 

“We don’t know how things are going to hit, how they are going to turn out,” Roper said. “We would love to see the whole community out here eating breakfast.”

To spread awareness of the breakfast, cards were handed out in the neighborhoods of church members. Roper said he and his wife Candy handed out cards while taking walks with the dogs in the park to those they met. 

“We owe the community here at this church,” Roper said. “We have been here a while and we would like to pay back. And that is all we are doing right here is just trying to pay it forward.”

The free breakfasts began with the completion of a kitchen expansion. Roper said the project has been a blast and the church has wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. With two previous breakfasts under the belt, Roper said lessons have been learned to make the event a success. 

“We learned you do not want to undercook the pancakes and being prepared,” he said with a smile. “When it starts out you could have 30 people. You are always going to get a crowd but if you cook too many at one time, and put them in our little warmer, then they are going to get too moist from the moisture in our warmer. It is hit and miss, but it is a blast.”

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The church has also pared down its list of volunteers. In the previous breakfasts, there were a little over 20 volunteers, but it was decided that was too many. Saturday there were 12, including some young energetic helpers. 

“That small help is the most energetic help I have,” Roper said. “They are a blast. They can put a smile on a person’s face. I know with me, children do it a whole lot easier than adults do. I love to see the kids out there working.”

Thanksgiving outreach

The Free Pancake Breakfast takes place every other month on the third Saturday, with the next slated for December. Prior to that, there will be the Thanksgiving Dinner, which is another aspect of the church’s outreach program. Meals will be prepared for those in need of a hot meal from 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 19. 

“We do a Thanksgiving dinner and with the COVID that kicked in, normally we do one inside,” Roper said. “Or we had for many, many years. But it was church members and their families that came. And with the COVID kicking in, we didn’t want to have a big grouping like that. So we decided to do outreach and make meals to go out.”

A total of 500 people were fed, which was substantially larger than had previously been fed when people simply came and sat down to eat. With a new well working plan in place, Roper said the church may not go back to sitting down and eating Thanksgiving dinner. 

“That is a great outreach for the community because there are a lot of nursing homes, a lot of assisted living, a lot of 55-plus, not to mention neighbors. We have some wonderful cooks here. The ladies do a great job. So we take out to everybody we can and that has worked out wonderful.”
The meals are cooked at the church with the request they be picked up by those in need. Roper added there are some deliveries on an as-needed basis. Those with questions are requested to call (405) 219-0084.

Trunk or Treat

Town and Country Christian Church will host a Trunk or Treat from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 19. There will be food trucks, touch-a-trucks and games, along with candy and crafts. The event is safe for children. Costumes are encouraged but not required.

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