Bridget and Nancy Entertain the Troops

It’s not very often that I wholeheartedly accept being accused of cheating.  But in this case, it’s true. 

Every November we are fortunate enough to be invited to Edmonton Garrison to participate in their annual GCWCC Breakfast.  These are the very men and women who defend Canada and our right to live freely in this great country.  The careers they have chosen are very serious but this morning at the Base, it’s all about the fun for a good cause. 

Base Commander, Lt. Col. Tom Bradley and his team welcome the soldiers and their families to the Junior Ranks Mess Hall at Edmonton Garrison in north Edmonton to enjoy a pancake breakfast, buy various raffle tickets - including the chance to drive a tank and crush a car (I REALLY wanted to win that prize) and a silent auction.  Oh yeah, and there’s this little annual event called the Pancake Eating Contest.

It really started innocently enough four years ago when Citytv’s very own Bridget Ryan, co-host of Breakfast Television Edmonton and I decided to participate in the contest.  Trust me, we’re no match for any of these soldiers who partake – they’re hardcore contestants.  So, we are forced to resort to the only way we know how to keep up with them.  We cheat.  And we strategize our cheating…with a little bit of ad lib thrown in for good measure.  Our tactics are pretty simple – get rid of the pancakes on our plates – any way, any how.  I am not going to elaborate any more than that in my blog, you will just have to watch the video to see the results of the contest.  But I will reveal a little bit of information to you; another year at the Department of National Defense Pancake Eating Contest has come and gone and still, neither Bridget nor I are the trophy holders.  We do, however, like to think that we provide at least a little bit of entertainment for so many people who do so much, not only for our great country, but for this great community.  These men and women are committed to keeping Canada strong and they are loyal to keeping our community strong by giving what they can. 

We have only one day year set aside to remember and thank the men and women who serve in our military,  but they do their jobs every day, whenever and wherever they are needed.  Let’s not forget that. 


Nancy Critchley is Director, Communications for United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.  She is waiting for the arrival of her second grandchild any day now and is pretty sure that after this morning’s contest she still has blueberry syrup stuck in her hair.