Life Luxuries: Pancakes and Housing


Pancake Day – it automatically elicits a memory for most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and Christians in general.

Pancake Day is celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent.  As children, we waited in anticipation of what the pancake would hold; coins, a button, a nail, any trinket that may have been an indication of what the future would hold. For many adults, Pancake Day loses some of the excitement, fun and importance…

…this is not the case at Saint Luke’s Homes!

For the past five years, employees at Saint Luke’s Homes have made Pancake Day an anticipated and important event again. Our staff, with the help of volunteers, have partnered with the CBC and the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing and Homelessness Network to raise money to help combat homelessness and raise awareness about affordable housing in our province.

(Front l-r) Cynthia Hynes, Lorraine Courvoisier, Kelly Fewer, Lisa Dempster, Barbara Ivany, Joanie Richards, Ellen Osmond and Elizabeth-Anne Malischewski. (Back l-r) Robert Barnes, Sam Walters, and Amy Clark.

(Front l-r) Cynthia Hynes, Lorraine Courvoisier, Kelly Fewer, Lisa Dempster, Barbara Ivany, Joanie Richards, Ellen Osmond and Elizabeth-Anne Malischewski. (Back l-r) Robert Barnes, Sam Walters, and Amy Clark.

Initially, the idea to participate in the pancake breakfast was suggested by Debbie Manual, a social worker at Saint Luke’s Homes. After hearing the promotion for the fundraiser on CBC Radio, Debbie was inspired to get involved in the cause.

“I recognized Saint Luke’s commitment to seniors and housing and felt the breakfast would be a great fit. I was confident we could draw upon staff, volunteers, board members and our local community to make the event a success.”

In addition to being a long-term care facility, Saint Luke’s Homes provides affordable housing options to seniors and adults of Newfoundland and Labrador with 54 cottages, 22 town houses and 54 apartment units. Saint Luke’s also has plans for 24 new affordable housing units to be built this year. Housing is important to us,” said Barbara Ivany, administrator at Saint Luke’s Homes. “Pancake Day is a fitting celebration to highlight the issue of affordable housing. It marks the beginning of Lent, a period where many people give up luxuries such as chocolate and sweets. Many of us do not realize that for some populations, including our seniors, housing is a luxury.”

Barbara adds: “People look forward to the event and it is always a great success at Saint Luke’s Homes.”

This year’s Pancake Breakfast, which was held on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, was a success on many fronts! Not only did the site raise $1,315 for this worthy cause, but staff, residents, volunteers and visitors had a great time.

The pancake favorite this year was blueberry and the sausages were an unexpected treat. The event was supported by several provincial leaders, members of Kirby House, Board members, community members and staff and management from various programs at Eastern Health.

The morning entertainment by Dave Wilson and Winston Cole had toes tapping and dancing at 8:00 a.m., which just seemed natural somehow.

Dave Wilson and Winston Cole performing at Saint Luke’s Homes annual Pancake Breakfast.

Dave Wilson and Winston Cole performing at Saint Luke’s Homes annual Pancake Breakfast.

The event requires a lot of work and dedication, but it is worth it. It is important to recognize that we do not all have the luxury of affordable, quality housing.

To date Saint Luke’s has raised over $6,000 to help combat homelessness!

Sometimes it just feels nice to do something ‘hands on’ that will benefit others. We look forward to continuing on with our Pancake Day tradition and supporting this great cause.

This story was written by Sheila Williams, a music therapist at Saint Luke’s Homes, and Lorraine Courvoisier, a recreation therapy worker at Saint Luke’s Homes.

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