JACKSON TWP.  The Jackson Township community come out every year for pancakes and sausage at the annual Unity in the Community Pancake Breakfast and Health Fair. They also come to speak to the the health and safety resources who setup every year.

This year was the 10th annual event and it has become a tradition for many. It was held on Oct. 21 in the Commons area of Jackson High School.

Proceeds from the event go to help kids and families in need in Jackson Township. Ten percent goes to the Jackson Local Schools Foundation and there are two $1,500 scholarships awarded to students based on financial need.

The core group of organizers for the event are Janelle Winkhart, Susie Gindlesberger and Jennifer Herold, who get a lot of help from Food Service Director Marsha Escola and close to 500 volunteers.

"We served close to 4,000 pancakes this year which I think is a record amount, our health fair is the biggest yet and we also had the largest number of volunteers this year," said Winkhart. "All of the support from the community through sponsorships, donations and volunteers has been amazing over the past ten years. The success is because of the people who come to buy breakfast, all of the health care vendors who come every year and all of the sponsors who donate items. One example is Nick Olinger from Olinger Landscaping  donated 60 large mums this year for the tables."

Volunteers included teachers, staff, administration, parents, student clubs and athletic groups along with people from the community. There were also many new free kids’ activities this year such as face painting, inflatables, a balloon artist and a selfie booth.

There is always a long list of sponsor partners who help each year, including Buehler’s Fresh Food that donates pancakes, Gordon Food Service donates the sausage, Superior Dairy, Starbucks donates coffee, The JM Smucker Company donates syrup, That Little Italian Kitchen donates butter and Massillon Cable makes monetary donations and provides free advertising. Others include Fresh Thyme, M Creative Media, Old Carolina Barbeque and Company, Olinger Landscapes, Omni Orthopedics, Sandy Adams Screen Printing and Winkart, Rambacher & Griffin.

"We also had the Jackson Jazz Band play, the JSA Edge Dancers, the new student managed art gallery was open for visitors and the Polar Pups brought a number of their therapy dogs," said Herold. "This event gives the community a chance to come into the high school and see what a community resource it is and learn how many community organizations use the facility for all sorts of events."

The health fair was open during the breakfast with exhibitors from dental offices, chiropractors, Jackson Lions Club, Jackson Township Fire and Police, Paul and Carol David YMCA, the Health Department, Mercy Medical Center and Aultman.

Mercy Medical had four tables with information on healthy hearts and lungs, the heart unit, health and fitness, and general information.

"Smoking remains the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S." Said Sharie Knight, a tobacco cessation specialist with Mercy Medical.

The American Heart Association was giving out free smoke alarms. A pharmacist from Marc’s in North Canton was giving flu shots free with insurance.

"The custodial staff and the people who work in the cafeteria are the backbone of the event every year. They volunteer so much time to help us. We know we couldn’t hold the event every year without all of the many hands that make light work," Winkhart said.

Photos by Patricia Faulhaber

 

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Laverne Vafides, Jean Matinides, and Sonya Dionisio enjoy socializing after they ate breakfast at the annual Unity in the Community Pancake Breakfast and Health Fair at Jackson High School.

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Tiffanie Mason and her two sons enjoy the pancakes at the annual Unity in the Community Pancake Breakfast and Health Fair at Jackson High School on Oct. 21.

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While at the annual Unity in the Community event, Andrew and Hailey Leonard got to pet Buddy, a therapy dog sitting with its owner Joanne Reikowski.

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Jackson Township Administrator, Michael Vaccaro, was talking with residents about the upcoming Tam O’Shanter rezoning issue on the Nov. 7 ballot while at the Unity in the Community Breakfast and Health Fair.

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Sharie Knight with Mercy Medical was talking to people at the annual Unity in the Community Pancake Breakfast and Health Fair at Jackson High School about healthy hearts and lungs.

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Maureen Zupp and Jessica Norris, both speech language pathologists at Stark Speech Services, LLC were talking to people about their services during the annual Unity in the Community Pancake Breakfast and Health Fair at Jackson High School on Oct. 21.

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Pharmacy Manager at the North Canton Marc’s Brain Dvork  and Pharmacy Supervisor Rosemary Snow gave 20 flu shots by 11 a.m. at the annual Unity in the Community event. Snow manages Marc’s Pharmacies around Cleveland, Akron and Canton.

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Gabby and Cadence Gashash from Wadsworth whose grandparents live in Jackson Township joined Casey Wright from Canal Fulton to get their faces painted at the annual Unity in the Community Pancake Breakfast and Health Fair at Jackson High School.

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Bob Bourquin and Dan Best with the American Red Cross were talking to residents about how they can get free smoke alarms. Anyone interested in getting more information about the smoke alarms can call 330-453-0146, follow the phone prompts and leave a name and number and a representative will call back.

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Patrons at the annual Unity in the Community Pancake Breakfast and Health Fair at Jackson High School found some fun facts about pancakes.