TOMS RIVER – It wasn’t a five-alarm fire that brought all them all to the fire house. No, it was instead a morning of the firefighters making breakfast for their neighbors.
The Pleasant Plains Volunteer Fire Company held its 75th flapjack breakfast this fall. Usually held twice a year, it’s a wonderful fundraiser for the department.
Christian Hafner, president of the company, said that there were firefighters going out on delivery throughout Pleasant Plains. There was a small line of people who came to pick up their meals. Some customers came from as far as Jackson and Monmouth County. Maybe it was word of mouth. Maybe these people used to live in Toms River. Maybe they had seen one of the fliers. Regardless, the company was very grateful for the people who came out to support them and the nice, warm breakfast on a fall day was a way to say “thank you.”
There was an increase in breakfasts going out the door. In 2020, they had more than 400. In 2021, it was looking like more than 600.
“It’s nice weather, and it’s getting closer to normal,” Hafner said, explaining why the event was more popular this year.
However, they were expecting to make less money this year, said Nancy Dunham, trustee and fundraising commander.
The landmark 75th event was different this fall, because of the coronavirus. People couldn’t sit down in the banquet hall and have their breakfast. It was all to-go or delivery.
“Normally, there’d be raffle prizes, so there would be more of a fundraiser,” she said. But without people staying a while when they come in – or not coming in at all – there was no ticket sales for the raffle.
The money will go in a few directions. One of which is a holiday party for the kids at Children’s Specialized Hospital. Another is the fund for a new roof on the building.
Hafner said that there will be another flapjack breakfast in 2022 on Palm Sunday, and hopefully, that event will be inside.