■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted an Independence Day breakfast for the public on July 4. Their Fruitvale and Diamond Valley Ward members were up at dawn, setting up tables and chairs preparing breakfast for a crowd of around 200 people. By 8 a. m, everything was ready for the crowd that showed up to the annual event at their church building on Kirby St. in Hemet.
The wards’ leadership, as well as donations by members, produced over 50 lbs. of pancake mix, over 400 sausages and eggs, as well as fruits, milk and orange juice to wash it all down.
According to Barnes, the main goal of the annual pancake breakfast is for members to invite friends and neighbors to come together in Christ: “We put it together for the members, to give them a place to meet together and associate with each other and get to know one another… It’s a missionary moment, people bring their friends who are non-members.”
The breakfast is open to the public every year. Fruitvale Ward Bishop Colbey Phipps addressed the breakfast crowd about the significance of American Independence in the Church: “If you take a few moments to think back on the men and women of humble beginnings of this, our great nation, you can have confidence in the idea that they too have embraced their God. And the foundation of their resolve was the conviction to his precepts and his principles.”
The rest of the speeches were given and then the flag salute was led by Boy Scouts within the two wards. Then finally, breakfast was served. While sausage links were in short supply, fellow cooks were well able to keep hot, fluffy pancakes coming all throughout the morning. After breakfast, there were plenty of fun activities for the kids, including volleyball, horseshoes, and water bombs.
Many of the kids present also participated in a mini-parade held in the parking lot. They rode decorated bikes, skateboards and roller-skates, while entertaining the parents who watched on the sidelines.
According to attendees, it was another successful year for the annual event. Not only did those present get a head start to their holiday celebrations, they also got the chance to get more involved with their community.