Pancake Breakfast raises $1,252; annual Coronado parade overcomes obstacles

       The students were as rowdy and colorful as ever, but some equally happy news for the 41st annual Coronado High School Homecoming Parade Sept. 24 in Old Colorado City was all those pancakes going onto paper plates under the pavilion in Bancroft Park.
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Usually just a pair of King and Queen candidates traditionally ride in each Corvette in the Coronado High School Homecoming Parade. But when one of the 'Vettes wouldn't start this year, that added an extra rider to this car. Josue Martinez (left) Demi Coca and Jason Schmidt didn't seem to mind at all as they cruised down the avenue Sept. 24.
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       Coronado's inaugural Save the Parade Pancake Breakfast raised a total of $1,252 - about a third of what it cost to put on the event this year.
       “It definitely doesn't pay for future parades, but it sure does help in a big way,” said Brian Kohls, the Coronado PTA's Homecoming chair. “We know we will be doing it again next year.”
       The lines occasionally stretched back to Colorado Avenue as people donating the requested $5 (and sometimes more) waited patiently for their plate of three pancakes with butter and syrup, plus coffee, juice or milk. Kohls said the biggest rush times were before the roughly 30-minute parade and during the pep rally afterward.
       The parade itself “went really well,” according to Drew MacMillan, the student president who had organized it with the help of other student officers and guidance from school administrators. The usual several hundred people - many of them current sudents, parents or alumni - lined the route from 29th Street down closed-off Colorado Avenue to Bancroft Park, where a pep rally followed for that afternoon's Homecoming football game.
       There were 31 entries in all, MacMillan said, with three bands (Coronado, West and Holmes) and hand-made floats and some
       costumes in keeping with this year's “Space - The Final Frontier” theme. Participants were the high school's sports teams, clubs and each of its classes (freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors), as well as its feeder elementaries and middle schools.
       The only disappointments, the student president related, were the inability of the Jenkins band to come - it would have been the first time for that east-side feeder school - and a mix-up that left the football team without a flatbed truck to ride on. So “we had to pull an audible,” as MacMillan put it, and put the team members onto the floats for their respective classes.
       MacMillan had a pleasant surprise of his own at halftime of the game later in the day, being named Homecoming King. The Queen was Sophia Assila. In the parade, all the candidates rode in (on) Corvette convertibles provided through a discounted donation arrangement with the local Corvette Club.
       That aspect of the parade featured another vehicular mishap, when one of the Corvettes wouldn't start. As a result, its King and Queen candidates had to “hitch” rides on other 'Vettes - resulting in two that had three riders each.
       MacMillan said he was pleased to hear the good news about the Pancake Breakfast, not just personally but for student-oriented reasons. As parade costs have increased in recent years - chiefly in response to city liability concerns - the school's student officers have been responsible for more and more parade fundraising. They've passed the hat at sports events, put fundraising boxes in Old Colorado City stores and held school dodgeball events where students paid to play. “This [the breakfast success] will help me raise money for next year,” MacMillan said. “And maybe next year it will help even more.”

Marchers and riders came in all ages in West Elementary's Coronado Homecoming Parade entry.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Even before now, the parade has gotten a lot of donated help, including Colorado alumnus Rick Johnson, who over the past 25-plus years has volunteered his plumbing-business employees to put out (and later remove) the no-parking signs and barricades.
       The breakfast wound up with zero overhead, as a result of donated or borrowed supplies and volunteer cooking services from about 15 Coronado staffers. The PTA members manned their concession stand and took care of the donated coffee. Kohls estimated afterward that almost 300 plates (900 pancakes) had gone out, along with 10 gallons of coffee.
       The only hiccup in the first-time event was no one remembering cooking oil. So the first few dozen pancakes had to be nearly scraped off the grill until a volunteer made it back from the grocery store.
       “We're very pleased with the feedback from the community,” Kohls said. “We had people stepping up and saying the pancakes were great, and they'll be back next year to support us.”
       As for the Homecoming Game itself, alas, Coronado lost for the ninth straight year.

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