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Upwards of 700 people were served flapjacks and other breakfast fare Tuesday morning at the Forever Young Senior Center as part of the Southaven Chamber of Commerce’s first-ever Flap Jack Give Back fundraiser.

The fast-growing area of DeSoto County continues to be a sought-after location for new firms and businesses to locate in. As potential companies look at where to settle, they often research the area through many means.

At the same time, new people coming into an area will also do their research to find exactly where they would like to live as they start a new chapter in their lives.

There are many ways to get that information that help them make their important decisions and the local Chambers of Commerce are one source for that detail.  

At the same time, businesses already in DeSoto County see the advantages of being Chamber members to promote what they have to offer and network with others to a mutual benefit.

To do what they do, however, Chambers need funds to accomplish their mission. Luncheons are sponsored and programs are held. For the Southaven Chamber of Commerce this week, flapjacks, also known as pancakes, were the money makers. The Chamber’s first Flap Jack Give Back took place Tuesday morning. 

“Our goal is to impact the business community and when there’s a strong business community there’s a strong quality of life and that’s our goal,” said Chamber Executive Director Carmen Kyle.

Support in the form of pancakes and other breakfast fixings came with an early wake up call, cooking and serving an estimated 700 people who either came through the doors of the Forever Young Senior Center in Southaven between 6-10 a.m. Tuesday morning, or who ordered a carryout meal ahead of time. Meals were also delivered to businesses, schools, first responders, and others.  

This was not your typical fundraiser, like a golf tournament or such, and Kyle said that was done on purpose.  

“Our board and committee was trying to go through and find something that was not done around here,” she said. “There’s a lot of golf tournaments and a lot of different events, but there wasn’t anything of a pancake-type breakfast, so that’s where we wanted to be different.”

Estimates of around 3,000 flapjacks found their way to supporters and patrons who wanted to back the Chamber and satisfy their morning hunger at the same time.

But, when asked why a fundraiser is needed, Kyle pointed out a Chamber of Commerce is not a commercial venture, although it supports the commercial business community, and the city as a whole.  

“Chambers are nonprofits,” reminded Kyle. “We’re a 501(c)6 member organization and the only way we have money is through memberships, sponsorships and fundraisers. Most of our funds go back into the community.”

Most communities have them and Chambers of Commerce are likely one of the first stops for new businesses to make when they enter an area. This week, one Chamber got a little backing in a new and different way: a Flap Jack Give Back.  

Bob Bakken is Managing Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.  

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