Story and photos by Douglas M. Rule
Fort Carson Public Affairs Office
Downtown Colorado Springs was converted into a giant mess tent as Fort Carson Soldiers prepared a pancake-and-egg breakfast for thousands of Soldiers, Family members and local citizens at the 50th Annual Colorado Springs Street Breakfast June 23.
Fort Carson assists in the project every year with volunteer Soldiers preparing batter and coffee, cooking pancakes and eggs, and then serving the breakfasts.
The breakfast is part of the kick-off for the 70th Annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, which will be staged July 14-17 at the Norris Penrose Events Center. The rodeo, sponsored by Pikes Peak Sertoma, raises funds to support local military charities. July 14 is Fort Carson night.
According to Katherine Toman, spokeswoman for the Pikes Peak Range Riders, 1,100 pounds of pancake batter was mixed, 1,500 pounds of eggs were cooked and 80 gallons of syrup was consumed. It is estimated that 14,000 pancakes were made.
“It is incredible,” said Toman, “this being the 50th year and being able to support the Soldiers as well as preserve our Western heritage. That’s what it’s all about.”
Toman also said that the support from the community for the Soldiers has been outstanding.
“We were taking posters around for the Street Breakfast and stopped in at a restaurant that serves breakfast. At first, the owner was hesitant – putting up a poster for a breakfast would cut into his own business – but when we explained that it was a part of a fundraiser for the Soldiers, he put it up right away,” she said.
Gregory Joell, Mission Support Element command food adviser and co-officer-in-charge for the Fort Carson part of the breakfast, was pleased with the Soldiers’ performance.
“The Street Breakfast operation went very smoothly,” Joell said. “I have been involved with the Street Breakfast five different times and this was the best by far.”
Joell coordinated the operation along with Chief Warrant Officer 4 Lena Tull, 4th Infantry Division command food adviser and co-officer-in-charge, and Sgt. 1st Class Monica Roberts, 759th Military Police Battalion and noncommissioned officer-in-charge for the breakfast.
Other events related to the rodeo include a longhorn cattle drive in downtown Colorado Springs Friday at noon; Ride for the Brand, a working cowboy rodeo, Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Norris Penrose Events Center; and the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo parade July 13 at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Colorado Springs.