Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt members prepare Pancake Breakfasts for the National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign Kick-Off at the Chief and Petty Officers’ Mess, Sept. 26 Photo: Master Corporal Nathan Spence, MARPAC Imaging Services

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

Organizers of the annual charitable campaign kickoff event served another hot and sizzling winner.

Pancakes, hash browns, and meat and vegetarian sausages were on this year’s Pancake Breakfast menu. They were quickly devoured by ravenous supporters of the annual campaign kickoff event for the National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign (NDWCC). Over 200 attended the event at the Chief and Petty Officers’ Mess on Sept. 26.

Matt Carlson, CFB Esquimalt’s NDWCC Team Leader, brimmed with pride about the $1,610.00 raised for this year’s campaign kickoff breakfast.

(Left) Capt Anthony Divinagracia of the Base Chaplains Office and Sailor Third Class Stephen Rubio of HMCS Yellowknife enjoy their meal during the NDWCC Pancake Breakfast. Photo: Peter Mallett/Lookout

“It was an awesome team effort by all military members and civilian staff and I am very pleased with everyone’s efforts,” said Carlson.

Rear-Admiral Christopher Robinson, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific, Captain (Navy) Peter Sproule, Formation Chief of Staff, and Chief Petty Officer First Class Susan Frisby, Base Chief, were among the many volunteers helping behind the grill and in the dining room during the event with the assistance of Base Foods staff.

As they ate their meals, attendees were serenaded by the Naden Band’s Wheelhouse Jazz Band.

Royal Canadian Air Force Captain Andy Ravishaw of Real Property Operations was one of many sharing a favourable review.

Canadian Forces Base (CFB) , Esquimalt, Commanding Officer, Captain(N) Kevin Whiteside delivers his opening remarks during the National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign Kick-Off at the Chiefs and Petty Officers Mess, Canadian Forces Base (CFB) , Esquimalt, Victoria, British Columbia, 26 September, 2023.
Photo by: Master Corporal Nathan Spence, Maritime Forces Pacific Imaging Services

“The Pancake Breakfast is good for the military community to come together and support the community that supports the Base,” said Capt Ravishaw. “The pancakes were delicious and a really nice five-dollar breakfast that I would love to have every morning.”

In total agreement was Sailor Third Class (S3) Stephen Rubio of HMCS Yellowknife, who rode his bike to Signal Hill for a hot breakfast. When he arrived at the Mess, Rubio suddenly realized he had left his cash at home. Thankfully, a member of the Command Team heard his dilemma while standing in line to pay.

“He was so kind and standing in front of me said, ‘I will pay for you,’ and I said ‘thank-you very much sir,’” said S3 Rubio. “The sausages, hash browns, and pancakes were excellent.”

Others, such as Commander (Cdr) Malcolm Girard-LeBlanc of MARPAC HQ, stopped by to pick up a takeout order.

“My taste buds compelled me to come today to try out some of the wonderful pancakes while also supporting the NDWCC and United Way of Southern Vancouver Island,” said Cdr Girard-LeBlanc. The United Way of Southern Vancouver Island (UWSIV) is one of the local NDWCC primary beneficiaries.

Erika Stenson, UWSIV Executive Director, says the support and teamwork required by volunteers to put the event together was impressive.

“CFB Esquimalt is one of our most significant, long-time supporters and I know that support of its leadership will mean this year’s campaign will continue the tradition of supporting our shared communities,” said Stenson.

Upcoming NDWCC Base Events planned for October include Unit Rep NDWCC Ambassador Training, Bring Your Dog to Work Day, and a Virtual Pet Photo Contest.

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