Fill up on crepes, help the LOACC Foundation
Pancakes seemed to be the answer for the first fundraising event of the Lake Oswego Adult Center Foundation.
At least that is what board president Doug Oliphant thought after a brainstorming session.
But board vice president Vince Tylman had different ideas.
'Vince said, 'Pancakes? Everyone does pancakes. Why not crepes?'' Oliphant said. 'We all fell in love with the idea.'
'But only after Vince gave us several taste tests,' said Sister Mary Dernovek, board consultant.
So, crepes it is for the fundraising breakfast set for Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center at 505 Ave. G.
This event will be a milestone for the LOACF, which has been aiding the adult community center since 1998.
'There were competing interests for money,' Oliphant said. 'There was the Computer Learning Center, the Meal Network, us and the center itself.
'Now that we're getting close to our goal (of raising $300,000 as an endowment) we wanted to do something different.'
In a community in which an estimated 30 percent of the population is made up of senior citizens, Oliphant and the board wanted to increase financial assistance.
'Our community is full of people who can't afford food,' said Oliphant, who is involved in a low-income housing project. 'We decided we needed to do more fundraising.'
'The public sort of knew what we did,' said Sister Mary. 'But we had no event to give us more exposure and raise our profile.'
There was just one catch. The crepe cook would be Tylman, and it would take practically an effort worthy of the 'Guinness Book of Records' to come up with enough crepes for 300 to 500 people.
A survey of kitchens in Lake Oswego was not encouraging.
'We came to the realization that the stove at the center only had a couple burners,' Oliphant said.
Another survey had more favorable results: Restaurants who serve crepes usually get them frozen. That meant the LOACF board could get 1,000 crepes from Food Services of America. Now, Tylman's task was Herculean but not impossible; a mere 500 crepes.
Certainly, the event is getting a master crepe chef in Tylman, who has been preparing pigs-in-a-blanket for his grandchildren for 15 years, and cooking crepes for the breakfast has honed his skills to a fine edge.
'Using three frying pans I can make 55 crepes in 40 minutes,' Tylman said.
'I think we'll see Vince on the Food Channel one of these days,' Sister Mary said.
Of course, the breakfast will be more than crepes. There will be sausage, berries, melon, coffee and juice. All of this fine food will be presented artistically on the plate, thanks to the expertise of the ACC's head cook Julyenne Pang and Meal Network board members Gail Keck and Elaine Dickson.
There will be a bonus, too.
'We'll give Vince's crepe recipe to anyone who wants it,' Oliphant said.
The Bank of Oswego signed on as the main sponsor of the event, and Sister Mary says the bank also plans to work with senior citizens on financial issues such as retirement planning, reverse mortgages and identity theft.
'We wanted to do something unique for Lake Oswego,' Oliphant said.
Of this, the LOACF can be confident.
'Crepes have a lot more class than pancakes,' Tylman said. 'They have a more delicate flavor. People will be in for a treat. They'll be getting a lot of bang for their buck. This breakfast will be all they can ask for.'
Will the crepe breakfast become a Lake Oswego tradition? Tylman doesn't seem to mind.
'Actually, it's been a lot of fun doing this,' he said. 'I don't think I'll go back to pancakes.'
Tickets are $5 in advance and $6.50 at the door. Children aged 5 and under are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased at the ACC or the two branches of the Bank of Oswego.