MINNETONKA — Hundreds of Minnetonka residents spent their Sunday morning at Minnetonka Community Center to support Minnetonka Police Explorers.

The 27th annual Police Explorers Pancake Breakfast, which raised $4,500 for the club, featured pancakes sausage and hot coffee, as well as a raffle. The raffle included a racing drone, Minnetonka Police Department branded mugs, three visits to the city’s Williston Fitness Center and more.

Minnetonka Police Officer Heather Olson, who is in charge of the Police Explorers program, said around 500 people attended the pancake breakfast. She estimates around 400 attended last year’s event.

“We couldn’t even keep up with the demand,” she told Lakeshore Weekly News.

The all-you-can-eat event cost attendees $5 and, according to Officer Erin Spinks, who is a Police Explorers mentor, it’s usually a full house. The money raised will go toward uniforms and competitions for the Police Explorers program.

“For some people, this is their 20th year coming to the event,” Spinks said. Spinks has been with the Minnetonka Police Department for four years.

Police Explorers is a program for teenagers and young adults ages 14-20 who are interested in law enforcement. Although, Spinks said some of the kids are not necessarily interested in becoming police officers but join the program to boost their confidence and learn leadership and teamwork skills.

“It’s really cool to see this many people come out to support us,” Police Explorer Greta Lips said. She hopes to go into law enforcement.

Frances Stevenson is a reporter for the Lakeshore Weekly News, covering the communities around Lake Minnetonka.

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