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July 1, 2009 > Firefighters fire up the grill

Firefighters fire up the grill

By Ritu Jha

The Newark Firefighters Association Local 1483 will be hosting its 8th Annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast event to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The menu will include pancakes, sausages, orange juice and Starbucks coffee, "All for five bucks which is the biggest bargain on the planet," said Charlie Verhoeven, firefighter and coordinator of the event. "It's a good way to start the 4th of July."

The Pancake Breakfast started in 2001 and since then has become a 4th of July tradition. Verhoeven said they started with two to three hundred people and last year they served breakfast to over 1000 hungry folks.

To make the event fruitful, firefighters have been working months in advance. On event day, they will wake up at 5 a.m. to prepare a breakfast that will consume 50 gallons of pancake batter, 4,000 sausages, 30 gallons of coffee and 50 gallons of orange juice.

"It's a pretty big event," said Verhoeven. He added that the firefighters their wives and kids volunteer to serve the community.

The pancake breakfast is designed as both a fundraising tool and to give back to the community. Funds collected go to local charities. This year's sponsors are the Tri-City Voice, IHOP and Starbucks. "We are expecting to raise five to six thousand dollars," said Verhoeven.

This is also an excellent opportunity for the community to peek into the fire station. Along with the breakfast, firefighters have prepared short demonstrations for the crowd. "Kids like fire engines in action," said Verhoeven. He added that everyone is welcome. "It's a nice way to meet the community in a more casual way."

The event also includes a raffle, free gift certificates, antique classic cars and a fire apparatus display.

Firehouse Pancake Breakfast
Saturday, July 4
8 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Newark Fire Station #3
39039 Cherry Street (at Mowry Ave.), Newark
Adults, $5; Children, $3
(510) 742-4480

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