In a relatively young community like Pueblo West, traditions that last 20 years or more are quite hard to come by.

The first Sunday of every month at the Pueblo West Shrine Club, located at 1501 W. McCulloch Blvd., has established a tradition of a community breakfast that is still going strong.

Since at least the early 1990s – "Longer than anybody can remember," Al Kaly Shrine Lady Glenda Terrill said – volunteers at the Shrine Club have served an all-you-can-eat home-cooked breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m., all for just $8.

The spread usually consists of scrambled eggs, fresh green chile, sausage patties, pancakes, and more.

It's not so much about fundraising, Shriner Merv Terrill said, but connecting with a community.

"This is more of a social gathering for the community than it is a money-maker," Terrill said. "It puts us out in the community and helps the people know what the Shrine does and what it's all about."

Shriners International, of which the Al Kaly Shrine of Southern Colorado is a part, runs Shriners Hospitals for Children. Its mission is to provide the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and other special healthcare needs within a compassionate, family-centered and collaborative care environment.

At the Al Kaly Shrine, it helps identify local candidates for its hospitals, which provides absolutely free treatment to families with no regard to the family's ability to pay. It also manages a transportation fund to provide travel, room and board to families that travel to the closest Shriners Hospital, the closest of which are in Texas and Utah. The Al Kaly Shrine makes the bulk of its funds for this mission by running the storage facility adjacent to the Shrine Club.

The monthly breakfast, though, is one of the best ways to connect, Glenda said.

"We are fun and we are a fun place to come to," she said. "We cater to our people, each and every individual that comes here, and we're small enough that we can cater to people on a one-on-one basis."

The next Shrine breakfast will take place Jan. 6.

asandstrom@chieftain.com