Campus Lutheran Pancake Dinner

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COLUMBIA - Campus Lutheran Church feasted before lent at a pancake dinner Tuesday. The kitchen inside the church was crowded with women cooking and the sweet scent of pancakes filled the air. In the next room, the tables filled with dozens of people celebrating the day before lent and the chance to donate money. To celebrate Mardi Gras, the church held a dinner asking for an offering. The proceeds of the dinner went to a disabled member of the church.

Austin Hein, 17, was diagnosed with Batten Disease several years ago and is in a wheelchair. "It's a gradual and declining disease, you just don't know how fast it's going to go. So we just take the good days and enjoy them," Austin's mom, Lugine Hein said. His family bought a special van to transport him from place to place. "He will be able to get in the car and not have to get out of his wheelchair," Hein added. Tuesday's celebration was organized to help his family pay for the vehicle.

Each year, a youth group within the church organizes the pancake dinner to raise funds for a family in need. This year the Hein's will get donations from the crowd of about one-hundred people who showed up to the event.

"To be able to give a little bit to them is just awesome because they've always given so much to this church and everybody in it," Chris Brown, a member of Campus Lutheran Church, said.