Students enjoy pancake breakfast from Chip’s
MIDDLETOWN >> Most in the Bielefield Elementary School cafeteria weren’t sure which were warmer, the smiles of 300 kids or the Chip’s Family Restaurant pancakes on their plates last week.
“The kids are so excited. Even though we just got back from spring vacation this morning, the kids remembered it was Chip’s pancake day. It makes me so happy to see them so happy. What’s really special about this is that it’s for the whole school,” said Meghan Heslin, a kindergarten teacher at the Middletown kindergartento fifth-grade school on Maynard Street.
“Sometimes we feel a little forgotten up here on the hill. But this really showed the staff and the kids that we’re not. We really appreciated this kindness shown to our kids,” she added.
That a sentiment echoed by school Principal Jeff Fournier.
John Wagenknecht, who who manages the Trumbull Chip’s location cooked over 600 pancakes by 9 a.m. “When you see these kids and their smiles and hear their laughter, it makes the cooking easy,” he said.
Wagenknecht gave credit to George Chatzopoulos and Dina Bajko, co-owners of Chip’s Family Restaurants.
Locally, business leader Albert Hamrah and Common Council Majority Leader Thomas J. Serra facilitated the event.
Hamrah said he was willing to fund the breakfast because of his long-time presence in Middletown and his love for the community, but that Chatzopolos insisted on making the donation outright.
“George deserves a lot of credit for his giving heart. When Tom approached me with this need, I was happy to make the call to Georgie,” he said.
Serra said the council received a letter from the school’s governance council saying that hunger needs were increasing at Bielefield. “My wife and I are retired educators, and I think we were both moved to action to read and see the statistics at Bielefield and even across the city,” he said.
Middletown’s Bielefield Elementary School kindergartner Ali Trevorrow is in Maghan Heslin’s class.
First-grader Mayson Callis is a student of teacher Stacey Pusz.