Holy crêpe! Airmen eat pancakes for worthy cause

From left to right: Airman 1st Class Kyle Newman, a student in the 312th Training Squadron, prepares to eat another mouthful of pancake while Chief Master Sgt. Paul Moreau, 17th Training Wing command chief master sergeant, and 312 TRS chief military training leader Master Sgt. Mark Brown cheer him on during the 2007 Children’s Miracle Network Pancake Eating Contest Tuesday at the International House of Pancakes restaurant in San Angelo. Airman Newman won the contest after devouring 20 pancakes in 20 minutes. Chief Moreau invited Airman Newman to be his designated eater and represent the 17th Training Wing. The contest took place in order to raise awareness and promote community involvement in the Children’s Miracle Network, an international non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for and awareness of children’s hospitals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Randy Mallard)

From left to right: Airman 1st Class Kyle Newman, a student in the 312th Training Squadron, prepares to eat another mouthful of pancake while Chief Master Sgt. Paul Moreau, 17th Training Wing command chief master sergeant, and 312 TRS chief military training leader Master Sgt. Mark Brown cheer him on during the 2007 Children’s Miracle Network Pancake Eating Contest Tuesday at the International House of Pancakes restaurant in San Angelo. Airman Newman won the contest after devouring 20 pancakes in 20 minutes. Chief Moreau invited Airman Newman to be his designated eater and represent the 17th Training Wing. The contest took place in order to raise awareness and promote community involvement in the Children’s Miracle Network, an international non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for and awareness of children’s hospitals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Randy Mallard)

Staff Sgt. Jeff Tongate, a member of the San Angelo Stampede Express arena football team and a master instructor of Structural Firefighting Principles at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy eats a mouth-full of pancakes during the 2007 Children Miracle Network's Pancake Eating Contest, Tuesday at the International House of Pancakes restaurant in San Angelo. Sergeant Tongate ate 15 pancakes in 20 minutes to finish as one of the top eaters in the competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Randy Mallard)

Staff Sgt. Jeff Tongate, a member of the San Angelo Stampede Express arena football team and a master instructor of Structural Firefighting Principles at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy eats a mouth-full of pancakes during the 2007 Children Miracle Network's Pancake Eating Contest, Tuesday at the International House of Pancakes restaurant in San Angelo. Sergeant Tongate ate 15 pancakes in 20 minutes to finish as one of the top eaters in the competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Randy Mallard)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- "Just like chow time back at basic," "He's done, give him another one," and "Go, go, go" were among some of the phrases shouted as words of encouragement to Airman 1st Class Kyle Newman, a technical student from the 312th Training Squadron who competed in the 2007 Children Miracle Network's Pancake Eating Contest Tuesday at the International House of Pancakes restaurant in San Angelo.

The contest was done in order to raise awareness in the local area of the annual national Children's Miracle Network fundraiser scheduled to place in the coming weeks and to promote community involvement in the Children's Miracle Network, an international non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for and awareness of children's hospitals. The date of the event, Feb. 20, also marked International Pancake Eating Day, which IHOP celebrated by hosting the event and offering a stack of free, delicious, fluffy pancakes to all those who visited their restaurants nation-wide.

"When I was asked to take part in the competition, I thought to myself I would love to be a part of any event or organization that helps others less fortunate. I especially take great pride when it's about helping kids," said Airman Newman, who brought along his new wife and fellow Airman, Courtney for support.

"He prefers French toast, but he's okay with eating cakes, especially for a good cause," said Mrs. Newman about her husband of one month. "I'll rub his back if he needs to throw up, as long as it's not on me," she added with a smile and her eyes gazed at "her man," who appeared to be anxious to get started.

Chief Master Sgt. Paul Moreau, 17th Training Wing command chief master sergeant, asked Airman Newman to be his designated eater at the competition and represent the 17th Training Wing.

It was a decision the command chief would not regret as Airman Newman blew past - or rather, ate past - the competition by devouring approximately seven, fully stacked plates of the fluffy delights for a total of 20 pancakes eaten in 20 minutes.

Airman Newman was one of 10 eaters competing that day. The panel of competitors included another member from Goodfellow, Staff Sgt. Jeff Tongate, a master instructor of Structural Firefighting Principles at Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy. Staff Sgt. Tongate is also a member of the San Angelo Stampede Express arena football team and was there as one of four representatives from the team.

Staff Sgt. Tongate was one of the competition's top eaters as he stuffed down 15 pancakes. However, unlike Airman Newman, Sergeant Tongate ate his pancakes with syrup, a move some spectators at the restaurant speculated may have caused him to lose. This was one comment Chief Moreau was quick to rebut.

"I think both Airman Newman and Sergeant Tongate did an excellent job in the competition. Although Airman Newman was named the winner of the eating contest, the true winners are the children who will be helped thanks to the support we have given today to caring, charitable organizations like the Children's Miracle Network," Chief Moreau commented. "We serve our country and local communities every day as part of our country's armed forces, but there are many ways to serve your community and make a positive difference. Sometimes all it takes is an open heart or a healthy appetite to help others."