SYKESVILLE — Two new faces will be a part of a well-known community tradition this year — and it might be easy to spot them in the crowd.
Lee Foulkrod and Carol Smouse are the first women to join the Sykesville Lions Club since its inception.
This weekend, they'll be working the 58th-annual Pancake Fry alongside their male counterparts.
"I remember saying to Mark (Zimmerman, current Sykesville Lions Club President), I thought it was just all men," Smouse said. "And he (said), 'No, women can join, we just don't have any.'"
Smouse said she wanted to join the Sykesville Lions Club because she "wanted and needed" to do something for other people.
But also, she wanted to help spread the word about all of the good things the club does for the community.
"I think the things they do aren't really that well-known — they collect eye glasses for people and give donations to really deserving organizations," Smouse said. "People, I think, identify the Lions Club with the Pancake Fry, but they do so many other things. They really do have a huge committment to the community. They care about making it the kind of place that people want to stay, because it's difficult to stay in this area now economically."
Smouse, who said she hasn't been as involved in her community as much as she should have been, now wants to change that.
"For me, personally, I have to say that I've not really been that active in the community as far as an organizaiton that gives back," she said. "I think that's something everybody should do, and you can't say other people should do it if you aren't doing it yourself. So I felt I needed to step out of my comfort zone and see if this would be a good fit for me."
And so far, she said it has been a good fit for her, and she and Foulkrod are excited about this weekend's fundraiser.
Today, Saturday and Sunday, the 58th-annual Sykesville Lions Club Pancake Fry will be held.
Tuesday night, Lions Club members set up the Town Hall to prepare for the estimated 4,000 people that will walk through the doors this weekend.
The club will be serving pancakes, sausage and coffee from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
According to member Don Zimmerman, who has helped with the fry for 55 years, the club has 6,000 pounds of flour and 800 pounds of sausage ready for the public.
About 75 volunteers will be helping out with the annual event, including 4-H student volunteers and boy scouts.
Although the club has a lot of help lined up for the annual fund-raiser, it is hurting for members, which is one of the main reasons why Foulkrod joined.
"I just thought it was kind of sad how it was going down in membership, and they need help," she said. "And they do a lot for the community. Just about everything they make is recycled back."
Like Smouse, she was also unaware women could join.
But since the time they joined in the spring, they have already been warmly welcomed into the club.
"Everybody has been very welcoming," Smouse said. "I think there's a little bit of an adjustment — it was a boys' club, but now some girls have crashed the boys' club, so I think there's a little bit of an adjustment there."
Smouse believes that because women process things "differently, not better" than men, it provides for a good balance.
"I think that's healthy though, to have a balance, to have both mindsets coming at a problem, or coming at an issue," Smouse said. "I think it opens up a lot more possiblities for benefits for the community, and that's really what the Lions Club is about."