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Pancakes with a side of goodwill
Annual fundraiser to help Denair couple
pancake breakfast pic
Bob and Dorothy Steeley will be the beneficiaries of the annual Denair Lions Pancake Breakfast set for this Sunday. - photo by Photo Contributed

On many occasions Dorothy and Bob Steeley have been supporters of the annual Denair Lions’ Pancake Breakfast. The couple has gladly handed over donations for tasty pancakes coming off the griddle, and never once did they ever think they would be the benefit of the club’s annual outreach of goodwill.

For more than 40 years the Denair Lions have hosted the pancake breakfast and donated the profits from the event to a person or cause in need. In past years the money has gone towards new uniforms and equipment for the Denair Lions Youth Football league, updates and fixes to the Denair High School baseball field, and to individuals straining under unforeseen medical bills or dealing with a tragedy.

This year the club has selected the Steeleys, who are long-time Denair residents dedicated to improving their community. The club selected them after learning Dorothy Steeley was diagnosed with stage 3 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma early in July. 

“I was very emotional and broke down when I heard they were doing it for us this year,” said Dorothy Steeley. “The idea that our community thinks that much of us is just overwhelming.”

The Steeleys have been a part of the Denair community for about as long as the Lions have been holding the pancake breakfast. Bob Steeley was a captain and later the assistant chief for the Denair Fire Department. Bob and Dorothy Steeley were very active in their children’s sporting activities and continue to be so for their grandkids. The large DHS letters on the north light towers at the football field were designed and installed by the couple and they routinely got the field prepped for games, said Dan Borba, the co-chairman for the pancake breakfast.

The couple has operated an upholstery business for more than 40 years. Over the years they have made and donated numerous signs for various events that have hung over Main Street in Denair.

“In fact the sign that is currently hanging over Main Street for the Lions Pancake Breakfast was made by the Steeleys over 15 years ago,” Borba said.

Dorothy Steeley said the cancer diagnosis she received earlier this year came at her “completely out of the blue.”

I had been feeling a little unwell for a short time and went to see my doctor and in about three weeks they had this diagnosis,” she recalled.

She was ordered to undergo eight rounds of chemotherapy. She has three left and expects to be finished in mid December.

“I can’t wait to be done with it,” she said.

Dorothy Steeley said any donation will go towards medical expenses.

The pancake breakfast will be held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Denair Community Center on Gratton Road.  The breakfast includes scrambled eggs, ham and pancakes.  Coffee, milk and orange juice will also be available.  Tickets are not needed as a donation is all that is asked for at the door.  In addition to the raffle for a large holiday quilt, which has become a tradition at the breakfast, there will be a general raffle of items donated by businesses and community members in support of Dorothy Steeley.  Monetary donations can also be mailed to the Denair Lions P.O. Box 32 Denair, CA 95316.  Donations are tax deductible and for records the Denair Lions tax I.D. is E94-6107838.