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070418-adh-nws-Lions Breakfast-my

East Albany Lions Club President Jadie De Lille pours pancake batter for the Lumberjack Breakfast on July 3. Hungry visitors had to come back that day because a power outage caused the club to cancel the breakfast the day before.

The East Albany Lions Club didn't lose as much as it thought it might from the power outage that forced it to cancel the Lumberjack Breakfast on July 2.

That's because someone at Pacific Power got permission to donate $1,500 to the club to help offset the loss that day.

"The donation is probably about half of what we would have netted that day, so that’s pretty amazing," said Lion Roger Wylie, who keeps track of numbers for the annual event.

"The thing is, from my perspective, somebody — a person, a single individual person at the power company; that doesn’t happen by itself — decided to do this," he added. "That’s just a testimony to the community we live in."

The Lumberjack Breakfast began at least 61 years ago as part of the now-defunct World Championship Timber Carnival. It is the biggest fundraiser for the East Albany Lions Club, which pays up front for all the eggs, sausages, pancake batter and other supplies so that all proceeds from ticket sales can go to local charities.

Wylie said the club doesn't have firm figures yet but he estimates the breakfast raised about $20,000 net during its four-day run.

Club members had been anticipating a fifth day for the fundraiser this year because Independence Day fell on a Wednesday, which meant they began serving the Saturday before. But the Monday power outage hit at 6:28 a.m., shutting down grills and forcing club members to turn away hungry visitors.

It takes a long time to get the grills up and running again, so even though power was restored about 8:30, the club sent the crews home and told later breakfast arrivals to come back the next day. They did: On the last day of the breakfast, July 4, Wylie said East Albany Lions Club members served a record 1,700 people, up at least 200 from last year.

Tom Gauntt, spokesman for Pacific Power, said the power company never did figure out what caused the outage that morning, which affected about 3,600 customers in neighborhoods in Millersburg, east Albany and Knox Butte Road.

Crews investigated and didn't find an obvious explanation, such as a fallen tree branch or wayward critter, and when they switched the systems back on, everything worked.

As for the donation, he said it came from the Albany office, which is headed by Celeste Krueger. 

"The timing (of the outage) was just about the worst that it could have been, right? About 15 minutes before it was supposed to go on," Gauntt said. "Fifteen hundred dollars in some way helps make it a less-bad situation."

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