St. Paul’s breakfast passes mile­stone; still go­ing strong

40,000 meals have been served up by Men’s Breakfast Club

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - DE­BRA DOWNEY

Ev­ery Satur­day morn­ing for the past 13 years, a light flick­ers on at 6 a.m. in the din­ing hall at St. Paul’s church.

While most peo­ple are rolling over, look­ing for a bit more rest and re­lax­ation, the first cook ar­rives. Seven more will join him shortly as the St. Paul’s Men’s Breakfast Club pre­pares to fry eight pounds of ba­con and 40 sausages, toast six loaves of bread, crack 12 dozen eggs and stir up two boxes of pan­cake bat­ter.

In a typ­i­cal week, the men will serve 50 to 70 hun­gry din­ers.

David Ivey, who has been part of the breakfast team for eight years, said 15 vol­un­teers usu­ally serve food and clean up af­ter­ward. The meal prepa­ra­tion, how­ever, is left en­tirely to the men.

The tra­di­tion be­gan in Novem­ber 2003, when a small group headed by Mert Ham­bly and Ross Cruik­shank met to dis­cuss get­ting to­gether reg­u­larly to do some­thing pos­i­tive for the Dun­das church, them­selves and the com­mu­nity.

“I think the idea was twofold,” said Ivey. “(They wanted to cre­ate) an out­reach to the com­mu­nity and, se­condly, cre­ate a ve­hi­cle where the men of the church could get to­gether and do some­thing.”

Many Satur­days and years later, St. Paul’s Men’s Breakfast Club re­cently served its 40,000th breakfast.

And over the years, the breakfast has stayed true to its pri­mary goals.

Roughly 10 per cent of the meals are pro­vided to in­di­vid­u­als un­able to pay. Some din­ers are mem­bers of St. Paul’s, but most are not.

More than $100,000 has been raised for the work of the church, and friend­ship is still very much part of the Satur­day morn­ing rit­ual.

“A large part of it is still the ca­ma­raderie be­cause those of us who do the breakfast have been do­ing it for a long time,” said Ivey.

“We know each other and can joke around, so there’s still that as­pect of it.”

Breakfast is served from 8 to 10 a.m. ev­ery Satur­day at 29 Park St. W. The menu con­sists of omelettes, ba­con, sausages, toast, pan­cakes juice, tea or cof­fee. Prices range from $7 to $10.

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