By TRAVIS MORSE firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — The Knights of Columbus in Mt. Vernon is holding four Lenten fish fry events on upcoming Fridays to raise money for local charities.
The next fish fry is this Friday, then the remaining events will be held March 28, April 4, and April 11.
Each event helps a single charity. One fish fry typically raises about $1,000 for a charity and draws more than 200 people, said Nick Schrementi, grand knight of the Knights of Columbus in Mt. Vernon.
The fish fry gatherings are an annual tradition for the Knights and take place every Friday during Lent.
“We’ve been doing these for about five years now (and) almost every fish fry has had a better turnout,” Schrementi said. “It gets bigger every year.”
All the fish fry events this year take place from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the St. Mary Parish Center gymnasium
in Mt. Vernon.
This Friday’s fish fry will raise money for the Knights of Columbus. Then, the March 28 event will raise money for CASA of Jefferson County, the April 4 fish fry will raise money for Lifeboat Alliance and the April 11 event will raise money for Christian Social Services.
Also, for each event, participants are encouraged to bring baby supplies such as bottles and diapers, which will be donated to the Woman’s Hope Center.
“You’re supporting your community when you come to these fish frys,” Schrementi said. “All these charities are vital to our community, vital to our underprivileged. … Charity is our number one principle. That’s why Knights of Columbus exists and that’s why we do these fish frys.”
Plus, the food at these events is “outstanding,” Schrementi said.
The main meal consists of an all-you-can eat fish fry, including fish, hush puppies, macaroni and cheese, french fries, coleslaw, desserts, tea and lemonade.
There are also specialty meals, including an eight-piece shrimp dinner and a limited supply of baked cod which is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Admission to the fish fry is $10 per person for adults and $6 for children. This fee includes an all-you-can-eat or specialty meal. Onion rings cost an extra $4.
Becky Whisenant, executive director of CASA of Jefferson County, said her agency has been helped by the Knights fish fry program in the past.
CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate, is a nonprofit agency that assigns volunteer advocates to work with abused and neglected children in the juvenile court system.
The agency is dependent on donations and fundraising efforts to continue providing its services, Whisenant said.
“We greatly appreciate their support,” Whisenant said of the Knights of Columbus. “They have to choose only so many organizations (to help). We’re proud to partner with them.”