Walking into the Rome Civic Center Saturday morning, you would have been instantly hit with the smell of fresh pancakes and sausage.

However, looking around, you would not find a table where you could sit and eat. Just tons of volunteers from local high schools and colleges hustling to put together to-go boxes to take out to the many cars waiting in line.

This was the Rome Noon Optimist Club’s 61st annual pancake breakfast fundraiser, but it was the club’s second time doing to-go style boxes.

“Usually, it’s completely packed and it’s like ‘community’ on steroids with everyone hanging out and talking,” Optimist Club member Dale Styers said. “But the community’s turned out like they always have.”

Cars lined up outside the Rome Civic Center to receive the pancake orders, starting at 6 a.m. and going until 11 a.m.

For the people cooking the locally-made sausage — the “sausage dogs” as Chaplain David Thornton dubbed them — they actually arrived at the civic center at 3:30 a.m. to begin preparing food for the boxes.

“When they arrived, they had to wipe the frost from their windshields, and when they left they had to scrape it off all over again,” Thornton said.

This is the club’s only fundraiser to help finance their local youth programs and scholarships.

However, it was the youth who turned out the most to help out with the event.

Students from the Shorter University softball team, Model High School Beta Club and Rome High School Beta Club all turned out to spend their Saturday morning before Thanksgiving break to help with the packaging and delivery.

“It’s been really awesome to give back to the community. I’ve met so many people here and made connections,” Asia McWaters said.

Thornton said they hope the club can get back to their usual community style breakfast next year.

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