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Pancakes for a Purpose in West Hartford at Annual Celebrity Breakfast

Park Road Association Co-Presidents Johnny Paindiris (left) and Tracy Flater (right) with Town Council member Chris Barnes. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The annual Celebrity Breakfast at Effie’s Place Family Restaurant supports West Hartford’s Park Road Parade.

Park Road Association Co-Presidents Johnny Paindiris (left) and Tracy Flater (right) with Town Council member Chris Barnes. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Park Road Association Co-Presidents Johnny Paindiris (left) and Tracy Flater (right) with Town Council member Chris Barnes. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

Diners at Effie’s Place Family Restaurant on Tuesday morning were met by a somewhat inexperienced but very attentive and well-meaning wait staff pouring coffee and taking orders for Effie’s Eggs, Patrissi Pancakes, and Whiting Lane Waffles.

Local celebrities – leaders in the civic and business community – were invited to be guest servers at the annual Celebrity Breakfast, which raises money for the upcoming Park Road Parade on Oct. 1, 2016. After taking a shift, many stay and eat breakfast, or sit down for an on-air interview with the legendary Brad Davis of WDRC-AM 1360, who annually broadcasts his morning radio show live during the event.

More than 100 attended the annual breakfast, and $2,000 was raised, Park Road Association Co-President and Effie’s Place owner Johnny Paindiris said.

“I think it was a successful breakfast. The crowd that was here enjoyed it, and continues to enjoy the event,” Paindiris said. The beautiful weather allowed for use of the patio – a definite plus, he said. The crowd of diners was a bit lighter than it has been in the recent past, but Paindiris said it was likely because the school year ended so early this year and camp programs have not yet started so some parents are without child care.

This year’s celebrity servers included Mayor Shari Cantor and other Town Council members, State Sen. Beth Bye, University of Saint Joseph President Dr. Rhona Free, TV news personalities Brad Drazen and Dennis House, Town Manager Ron Van Winkle, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Barbara Lerner, and Director of Human and Leisure Services Helen Rubino-Turco. [Editor’s Note: I was also a server, and managed not to spill anything!]

Effie’s Place’s regular wait staff was extremely patient and helpful with the celebrity servers. Playhouse on Park Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director Sean Harris, who said he previously ran a restaurant in New York, was also clearly a pro, and assisted the novice servers.

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From left: Playhouse on Park co-founder and co-artistic director Sean Harris, State Sen. Beth Bye, Town Council member Beth Kerrigan, Dir. of Human and Leisure Services Helen Rubino-Turco all worked as servers. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Playhouse on Park co-founder and co-artistic director Sean Harris, State Sen. Beth Bye, Town Council member Beth Kerrigan, Dir. of Human and Leisure Services Helen Rubino-Turco all worked as servers. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove had breakfast at Effie's Place Tuesday morning. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove had breakfast at Effie’s Place Tuesday morning. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

State Sen. Beth Bye (D-5th district) prepares to serve State Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-8th district), who was visiting from Canton. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

State Sen. Beth Bye (D-5th district) prepares to serve State Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-8th district), who was visiting from Canton. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

WDRC's Brad Davis interviews Probate Judge Sydney Elkin. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

WDRC’s Brad Davis interviews Probate Judge Sydney Elkin. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The crew from 102.9 The Whale enjoyed breakfast at Effie's Place. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The crew from 102.9 The Whale enjoyed breakfast at Effie’s Place. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Council member Chris Barnes (right) waits on Dir. of Human and Leisure Services Helen Rubino-Turco and Town Manager Ron Van Winkle. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Council member Chris Barnes (right) waits on Dir. of Human and Leisure Services Helen Rubino-Turco and Town Manager Ron Van Winkle. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Junior League of Greater Hartford President Julie Krug puts in a breakfast order at Effie's Place. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Junior League of Greater Hartford President Julie Krug puts in a breakfast order at Effie’s Place. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

University of Saint Joseph President Rhona Free fills coffee mugs. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

University of Saint Joseph President Rhona Free fills coffee mugs. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Librarian Martha Church and Board of Education member Carol Blanks. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Librarian Martha Church and Board of Education member Carol Blanks. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Minority Leader Denise Hall waits on Claudia and Moktue Bowles. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Minority Leader Denise Hall waits on Claudia and Moktue Bowles. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Mayor Shari Cantor was one of the celebrity servers at Effie's Place. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Mayor Shari Cantor was one of the celebrity servers at Effie’s Place. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

WFSB anchor Dennis House takes a breakfast order. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

WFSB anchor Dennis House takes a breakfast order. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Horner family enjoys breakfast at Effie's Place. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Horner family enjoys breakfast at Effie’s Place. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

NBC Connecticut anchor and reporter Brad Drazen with Playhouse on Park Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director Sean Harris. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

NBC Connecticut anchor and reporter Brad Drazen with Playhouse on Park Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director Sean Harris. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

News anchors Brad Drazen (NBC Connecticut) and Dennis House (WFSB) work together as celebrity servers. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

News anchors Brad Drazen (NBC Connecticut) and Dennis House (WFSB) work for different TV stations, but work together as celebrity servers. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Charles Paindiris opened Effie's Place with his wife, Effie, in 1990. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Charles Paindiris opened Effie’s Place with his wife, Effie, in 1990. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Senior Center Director Gina Marino with Minority Leader Denise Hall. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Senior Center Director Gina Marino (left) with Minority Leader Denise Hall. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Governor's Liaison to the Disability Community and Democratic Town Committee Chair Jonathan Slifka dines at Effie's Place. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Governor’s Liaison to the Disability Community and Democratic Town Committee Chair Jonathan Slifka dines at Effie’s Place. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Chamber of Commerce Executive Dir. Barbara Lerner (left) takes an order from West Hartford Press Executive Editor Abigail Albair, who brought her infant son, Leo. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Chamber of Commerce Executive Dir. Barbara Lerner (left) takes an order from West Hartford Press Executive Editor Abigail Albair, who brought her infant son, Leo. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

We-Ha.com and West Hartford Magazine Creative Dir. Joy Taylor with West Hartford Public Relations Specialist Renee McCue. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

We-Ha.com and West Hartford Magazine Creative Dir. Joy Taylor with West Hartford Public Relations Specialist Renee McCue. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Public Relations Specialist Renee McCue and Noah Webster House Executive Director Jennifer Matos serve coffee. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Public Relations Specialist Renee McCue and Noah Webster House Executive Director Jennifer Matos serve coffee. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Companions for Living President Julianne Roth takes an order from We-Ha.com Sales Director Kaushik Makati. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Companions for Living President Julianne Roth takes an order from We-Ha.com Sales Director Kaushik Makati. Celebrity Breakfast. June 14, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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