CLARK, NJ - Since 1972 the Clark Volunteer Emergency Squad and the Clark PBA Local 125 have joined forces to treat Clark’s senior citizens to breakfast. The annual pancake breakfast was held Sunday morning at the EMS building, where more than 200 meals were expected to be served up to hungry seniors.
The event founder, Tony Pannullo, stood guard in the kitchen, making sure everything was done just right. A former president of the EMS, he stepped down in 1988, Pannullo came up with the idea to recognize senior citizens and their support of the EMS.
“Tony Pannullo is the one who deserves the credit,” pancake-flipper and EMS volunteer Frank Makosiej said. “He does a phenomenal job. He’s the chief cook, bottle washer and organizer.”
Seniors relaxed and chit-chatted as they enjoyed their breakfasts. Conversation was surely different than it was during that first breakfast in 1972. The topic of the day: the merits of different types of cell-phones, calling plans, minutes and the annoyance of “butt-dialing.”
“There’s something to do in Clark every day if you want to go out,” senior Jo Favor said. “I enjoy these things. I don’t see these people all the time so it’s nice to meet up with them. The food is nice, and it’s an excuse to get out and see people.”
The meals and hot cups of coffee were served-up by eager Boy Scouts from Troop 145. A contingent of Clark police officers stood nearby.
“The seniors who come out are big supporters of the police, fire and EMS departments,” PBA President Danny Joy said. “This is a little token of our appreciation. We take care of them, just like they take care of us.”
Laurie Sheldon, an EMS trustee, said the squad was especially grateful to Vaccaro's Bakery for donating desserts, and to Pannullo Enterprises for donating the pancake mix and syrup.