While the Memorial Day Parade and the Kiddo! Carnival draw thousands on Memorial Day weekend, the Mill Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association’s Pancake Breakfast does so in just a few hours on Monday, May 28.

Twenty years ago this month, the Association launched its annual Pancake Breakfast when John Thompson, Fred Martin, John McClure and Bob Hughes, among others, cobbled together a bunch of portable grills, coolers and propane tanks and prepared to serve up a Memorial Day breakfast for a few hundred people.

And then 800 showed up. And hundreds more showed every year after that, with volunteers serving up some 1,500 to 2,000 plates and lines forming around the block outside the Mill Valley Fire Department’s downtown station on Corte Madera Avenue. The massive event is set for 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on traffic-free Corte Madera Ave. in front of City Hall and outside the fire station with pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice and coffee.

The Pancake Breakfast is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Mill Valley’s volunteer firefighter program. The Mill Valley Fire Department took shape more than 120 years ago as an all-volunteer organization, beating out some fires with wet potato sacks and renting space to store its gear. The approximately $10,000 to $15,000 the event raises each year helps to association continue to develop that volunteer pool which, in turn, creates a candidate pool for the hiring needs for Mill Valley and departments all over Marin and the Bay Area. The event also generates revenue to support training and equipment needs, according to Mill Valley Fire Department officials.


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