The maple season is upon us, and so is the ninth Annual Derick’s Pancake Day in support of the Make-a-Wish Foundation of  Eastern Ontario. The annual and one of the largest fundraising event of this kind will be held April 21 between 10.00 am and 6 p.m. at the Sucrerie Du Ruban, located at 40 County Road 18 in Ste-Anne-de-Prescott, Ontario.

The event seems to have grown larger this year; in recent years, each event has raised more than $25,000.

Last year, despite unseasonably cold weather with a -18 C temperature and blustery winds, the pancake specialists flipped more than 2,400 pancakes, made with flour, eggs, milk and a sprinkling of Derick’s spirit in every pancake.

As usual, the event will feature a silent auction to be held under a big tent, with a large variety of gifts donated by sponsors. Items will be up for grabs, going to the highest bidders. Later in the day, a live auction will offer some inspiration summer merchandise, donated by Lowe’s of Cornwall, Sports Experts of Hawkesbury, Home Hardware in Alexandria and a brand new BBQ has been donated by Laurin Independent Grocer of Hawkesbury.

New items will be on the auction block, all donated by businesses from as far away as Alfred, Vaudreuil-Dorion,  Hawkesbury, Vankleek Hill, Hudson, Cornwall, and the Alexandria region.

This year, as usual, local municipal and provincial elected officials as well as Constable Mario Gratton of the Hawkesbury Ontario Provincial Police detachment and local firemen and members  of the Prescott-Russell paramedic team will be on hand to show their expertise and lend community support by helping throughout the day.

Entertainment this year will feature Gary Carpenter,  Mystic (Gerry Chabot) and more. Returning for its second year will be the eight members of “Voix La”, who will perform their renditions of such popular oldies as “The  Lion Sleeps Tonight”, and many other classics from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s !  Voix La artists all hail from Prescott-Russell.

For the first time at Derick’s Pancake Day, Vankleek Hill’s “50 Proof”, including band members Reid Masson, Dr. Shawn Hayley, Thaila Riden and Gilles Lemieux will perform. They will perform many classic country, country rock and light rock favorites. Masson confirmed that they are ready to rock and entitled their repertoire as the best of 50 Proof.

You may get an early glimpse of 50 Proof on Friday, April 13 as they will  be playing at the weekly Steak Night at the Windsor Tavern on Main street in Vankleek Hill.

Don Dubois of Vankleek Hill, corporate fundraiser for this event, will be interviewed on the “Miki in the Morning” radio show (107.7 FM) on  Friday, April 13 during the last half of the show to talk about Derick’s Pancake Day.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation is active in 52 countries worldwide and has granted over 350,000 wishes during that period so far, with 715 of those wishes granted right here in our back yard.

In the Prescott-Russell vicinity, pediatric specialists have long confirmed that many of our wish children have drastically improved their sometimes life-threatening medical conditions after obtaining their wishes, simply because of the results of being so happy and spending time with their families.

There will be many surprises at Derick’s Pancake Day. Will a wish be granted at the event? You will have to come and find out for yourself!