By Cindy Jo Ayers
June 1, was a bittersweet day for many citizens of North Gilchrist County. It was a day of remembering, a day of back patting and many hugs as the last Spring Ridge Fire Department pancake breakfast was held.
Don and Margo Alexander organized the event some 23 years ago after moving to the Spring Ridge area from Miami. Don told his friends that he was sorry to have to stop organizing the breakfast but his health isn’t what it once was and the breakfast just tire him out. Margo said, “We were very happy to move here and so glad we could give back locally.”
Through the years the pancake breakfast has raised roughly $100,000 with half going to support the Spring Ridge Fire Department and half going to charity.
Don said that from 2006-2012 they donated to the Children’s Miracle Network, then around seven years ago the group started supporting the Fisher House in Gainesville. Along the way they have helped many others in need in the community, they provided turkey dinners at Christmas, and donated to the local food bank.
Local citizen David Graham said he moved to the Spring Ridge area back in 1993. Graham said, “I walked here as a kid to have breakfast. You don’t appreciate it enough until its gone.”
Through the years many local and state politicians visited with the citizens of Spring Ridge at this monthly breakfast. Sheriff Bobby Schultz, representing many local politicians and those who have enjoyed the event through the years, presented Don and Margo with a plaque. Gilchrist County Judge Sheree Lancaster, School Board Members Christy McElroy, and Gina Geiger also spoke about the Alexanders, thanking them for their many years of service to the fire department and the citizens of the county.
Don assured everyone he would miss the breakfast, but would not miss stirring that giant pot of grits.
The end of an era came on June 1, when the very last pancake was cooked to a golden brown and removed from the griddle at the Spring Ridge Fire Department.
After 23 years Spring Ridge Fire Department Pancake Breakfast ends
By Cindy Jo Ayers