Coronavirus is a topic at Lions' Pancake Day

Shawn Hardy news@echo-pilot.com
The Greencastle Lions Club's Pancake Day Saturday morning was one activity during a reunion of the children of the the late Harold 'Phil' and Delores Phillips. SHAWN HARDY/ECHO PILOT

The Greencastle Lions Club's annual Pancake Day on Saturday featured the traditional pancakes, sausage, puddin' and scrambled eggs, plus a lot of talk about COVID-19.

The breakfast was held in the cafeteria at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School. Like schools across the state, it closed Monday for two weeks on the orders of Gov. Tom Wolf as Pennsylvania takes precautions against the spread of the coronavirus.

There was a club meeting Thursday evening and cancelling Pancake Day — the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Greencastle Lions — was not considered, according to Bill Needy, who co-chairs the breakfast with Mike Stevens. All the supplies had been ordered and everything was lined up with assistance of community sponsors and donors.

The doors opened at 7 a.m. By 10, more than 250 people had come for the meal with an hour left to go, according to Lion John Rishel, who was taking tickets and collecting money. That's not too far off the 340 from last year.

He noted some diners would give him a $20 and decline change "to make up for the people who aren't here."

One group out in force was the family of the late Harold "Phil" and Delores Phillips of Swamp Fox Road. On hand were eight of nine siblings who haven't all been together for years, as well as a few other family members.

"We're getting older," Barb Boyer of Chambersburg said of the brothers and sisters gathered from as far away as Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Baltimore.

"Jake" Phillips, a brother from Georgia, said get-together plans also included reminiscing, old stories, target shooting and a bonfire.

Sister Sandy Lanehart was checking her phone, monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Florida. She is head custodian at an elementary school where heavy cleaning is going on.

She shares a profession with Boyer, who is building manager at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School.

"This is my building," Boyer said proudly. "I love the school ... the staff is awesome."

Boyer explained that while G-A schools are closed, crews are reporting a 6 a.m. for deep cleaning and disinfecting, "scrubbing walls, desks, floors ... anything."

South of the border in Maryland, transportation workers also are reporting as normal while schools are closed, detailing and sanitizing buses and the facilities, according to Eric Callear of Boonsboro, transportation dispatcher with Washington County Public Schools, who attended the breakfast with his friends Guy and Nancy Camp of Greencastle.

Ashley Grooms of Greencastle, Boyer's daughter, joined her Phillips relatives for breakfast with son, Alex, who is in first grade at Greencastle-Antrim Primary School.

Grooms works from home for WellSpan Health so she does not need to worry about Alex and his brother Zachery, who is in seventh-grade at the middle school, during the shutdown.

"I'm very lucky. I can take care of my kids," Grooms said.

In talking to them about the virus, she told her sons to do what they normally do — wash their hands and cover their mouths.

Alex plans to play a lot of Nintendo while schools are closed.

Luke Sanders, an eighth-grader and member of the G-A Blue Leos who were helping at the breakfast, said he will hang out with friends, while 11th-grader Beatrice Cain, another Blue Leo, said she will "probably just study."

Julie Rohm's son Connor, a sophomore, was at his last G-A High School baseball practice for two weeks, while she shared breakfast with her mother, Peggy Hays. They talked about the bare shelves at Sunnyway as people stocked up at the grocery store.

"It's like a giant snow day without the snow," Rohm said.