The most exclusive breakfast club on Washington Island takes place in the Fellowship Hall at Trinity Lutheran Church every Wednesday morning.
On that day at 7:30 a.m. all high schoolers are invited to enjoy breakfast before they head off to school. The Rev. Frank Maxwell says, “The number of kids varies each week, but everyone agrees that the breakfast is good.”
Not only is it good, the breakfast is also hearty. Students can choose from an array of items, all made by volunteers who arrive much earlier than 7:30 a.m.
The menu includes Trinity McMuffins, bacon or sausage, pancakes or French toast, homemade doughnuts, juice, fruit smoothies and chocolate shakes. Sometimes there are English muffins and homemade coffee cake.
As volunteer Marlene Mann says, “No one goes away hungry!”
The high schoolers start drifting in around 7:30 a.m. They make their breakfast choices quickly with the Trinity McMuffins, fruit smoothies and chocolate shakes on almost every plate.
By 8:10 a.m. all the teens are on their way to school. If some don’t have rides, a volunteer will take them.
Frank Maxwell has been serving breakfast to teens for 20 years – seven years at Trinity, the rest at his former church in Madison. He arrives at the church kitchen by 5:15 a.m. to turn on the lights and ovens and make coffee.
Soon after, four volunteers arrive to prepare the breakfast. On one Wednesday Shirley Baxter and Marlene Mann began baking the biscuits and scrambling the eggs for the Trinity McMuffins. Melinda Ellefson prepared the smoothies and chocolate shakes. Jane Young mixed up the pancakes.
On other Wednesday mornings Lois McDonald and Phyllis Kirchner help out.
“Two weeks ago we had 16 kids. We averaged 18 to 20 last year,” commented Maxwell. “Numbers can vary depending on other school activities on and off Island.”
At the first breakfast of the school year on Sept. 5, Ray McDonald arrived in the Fellowship Hall all excited. “Oh, it’s good to be back here with a good breakfast!”
Frank Maxwell and the volunteers like to hear comments like that.
Photos by Melissa Walker