It takes months of planning and hard work to pull off Iredell’s Happiest Day.

There are scores of volunteers to schedule, cases and cases of supplies to order, sponsorships to secure and dozens of signs to put up.

But the effort is totally worth it, according to Boys & Girls Club of the Piedmont Development Director Brady Johnson.

When the doors to the Statesville Civic Center open Thursday morning and the Randy Marion Automotive Second Annual Pancake Day gets under way, something magical will happen.

As many as 2,000 people from all walks of life will stream through the doors between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. and pay $10 for a simple meal of pancakes and sausage. (Walk-ins are welcome, and take-out is available. For large groups, please call 980-759-3021 for reservations.)

Celebrity chefs, including Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh and several City Council members, Police Chief David Onley, Iredell Health System CEO John Green and Piedmont HealthCare CEO Jeff Smith, will be flipping pancakes throughout the day.

“I’ve never had anyone turn me down,” Johnson said. “Mayor Kutteh is always the first person to raise his hand.”

It’s Iredell’s Happiest Day because of the way the community comes together to support the mission of the Boys & Girls Club of the Piedmont. Last year’s event raised about $67,000, and Johnson is confident that the encore will easily surpass that figure.

Corporate sponsorships are up this year with Lowe’s and Manheim Auto Auction joining the event’s underwriters. Advance ticket sales have been promising, and the event has grown to include a silent auction, which will also boost the organization’s profit, according to Johnson.

The proceeds from the nonprofit’s largest fundraiser will enable as many as 200 kids to attend the Boys & Girls Club’s eight-week summer camp at no cost to their families. Campers get two meals and a snack every day, go on field trips throughout the region, get academic tutoring, participate in the Abby Winthrop Smart Girls Program and digital literacy initiative, and, most importantly, they have fun.

“A lot of them will not have a traditional summer vacation,” Johnson explained.

Community Support

To call this a community effort is a mild understatement. Including the celebrity chefs, more than 250 people will donate their time to help out at Iredell’s Happiest Day.

The Iredell-Statesville Schools Nutrition staff plays an integral role in the event.

Nutrition Director Tina Wilson is in charge of making sure all of the pancake batter (25 cases), syrup (200 cases), sausage (48 cases) and other essentials are on hand for the big event.

Wilson and members of her team, Graye Templeton, Lisa Caldwell and Sherri Saunders, will be supervising the work in the kitchen at the Civic Center. (They divide up shifts so the the I-SS food operation still runs smoothly.)

“We love doing stuff like this,” Wilson said. “Seeing the community come together is great.”

Representatives of Grill 4 God will be cooking up the sausage.

All five local Rotary Clubs have supported the event with sponsorships, donations, and ticket sales.

The support of Lowe’s led to the silent auction and the Thorson Family has donated numerous new SKIL power tools for the raffle.

Morning guests will be greeted outside by Kristie Darling of Big Oh Balloons. She will have a tethered balloon on the southwest lawn of the Civic Center.


To purchase advance tickets, visit