FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Every third Saturday of the month local Marine Corps League Detachment 1435 Pride and Purpose hosts a pancake breakfast. Beyond offering a reasonably priced breakfast, all the money that comes in also goes out to helping veterans. It’s why the MCL Pancake Breakfast is Positively Fort Wayne.

“Our pancake breakfast is more than just a breakfast. Yeah, it’s a $6 meal for the best omelet or pancakes you can have, but the friendships that you’ll build and the community that you’ll build up is what’s most important,” explained Alena Gillum, paymaster with MCL #1435.

Every week the pancake breakfast brings the community together to support the MCL’s mission of helping veterans. And it just so happens to be tasty, too.

“We raise money to give away. That’s the whole purpose of our Marine Corps League. We raise it up, and we just give it away to whoever needs it, whether it be a veteran, whether it be someone in our community. I just love giving money away,” said Gillum.

It’s a completely volunteer effort to serve the breakfast. And it’s not just the MCL helping out.

“Not only members from our Marine Corps League Detachment but also the VFW post, the American Legion Post that’s here, we all volunteer here together. And we’re all bringing community members together. And we have the Army veterans group that always comes every month. It’s great to have them here every time. We see the same people every month. But we also have people that are new each month, which we’re glad to have them come in,” said Matt Careins, Sr. Vice Commandant of MCL #1435.

One group of Army veterans has come out to the breakfast every month for nearly the entire time the breakfast has been in existence. The group was part of the 890th Transportation Company.

“We were invited by the Marine Corps to come out, even though we’re Army guys… It’s just a great place for a Saturday morning breakfast, price is more than reasonable, service is great, and the Marines treat us exceptionally well,” said Jim Hogan, 890th Army veteran.

On average, the group is about 8-10 people large. But on occasion, the veteran group can get up to 15 people deep.

“I hadn’t seen most of these guys for 40 years. And all of a sudden, he’s passed on now, but he got this started. Ken Short is his name. And we all started meeting for breakfasts, and it’s just a lot of fun,” said Jim Reiter, 890th Army veteran.

Veterans serving veterans. All to help other veterans. But the stories being served are endless.

“We get some tall stories in here when you get too many marines in one place. It gets deep real quick. But it’s hilarious. For us, it’s a way we can spend our day together and just have a good time and help our cause out,” said Troy Gillum, Past Commandant of MCL #1435.

MCL members said no matter what, this breakfast can impact you in some way.

“Everyone knows at least somebody that’s served in some capacity. And everyone just enjoys hearing stories, smiling faces, still enjoy a great meal, just a good time to come on out,” said T.J. Taylor, Commandant of MCL #1435.

“Well, one it’s cheap. Number 2, it’s very good. And number 3, you can get a cheap breakfast, very good, and you’re also helping support the veterans,” said Troy Gillum.

The next pancake breakfast is happening on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the VFW Jim Eby Post 857. That’s at 2202 West Main Street in Fort Wayne. The breakfast is from 8 – 11 a.m. and costs $6 for adults and $4 for kids. You’ll get the choice of pancakes and sausage, biscuits and gravy, or you can build your own omelet. Or, you can opt for all-you-can-eat pancakes for $11. Again, any funds raised will help veterans in need in our community. You can click here to learn more.