Donald Seifert of the Tri-County Shrine Club about the upcoming Shriner’s Fish Fry.
Broadcast audio here. Written story below.
For decades, the annual Shrine Club fish fry was held at the Henderson Armory. In recent years, although the locations have changed, the mission has never wavered: the local Shrine Club fundraiser supports local and national causes to help children.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 marks the 57th fish fry, said Donald C. Seifert, who spoke with John C. Rose on Tuesday’s Town Talk.
The event is take-out only, he said, and runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 210 Industry Drive, at the Sherman and Boddie facility. Tickets are available from local Shriners, but also are available at the door.
“It all comes together,” Seifert said of the preparation for the annual fish fry. “But it comes together right at the last day or two,” he said. Club members will get the cookers on site and prepare the fish. There’s a lot of work that goes into the annual event, and he said club members look forward to serving a lot of customers on May 19.
“We do have some good experience on moving folks through and getting them hot plates (of food),” he said.
In the 57 years that the fish fry has been held, there’s no telling how much fish has been battered, fried and placed on plates or in to-go boxes, he said. “It’s very gratifying. The people of Henderson and the surrounding area have been so supportive – it’s just been a good project for us and I think people have enjoyed it also,” Seifert added.
A couple of years ago, the group known as Henderson Shrine Club adopted a new name to reflect its demographic. The Tri-County Shrine Club is the same group, but Seifert said the newer name is more inclusive.
“We’ll do our level best to deliver to our customers a good fish plate – they’ll certainly get their money’s worth,” he said.
The local Shriners support causes in the community – they recently helped with a first-responders fundraiser – as well as Shriners’ hospitals across the nation and around the globe. “Road runners” are Shriners who transport children and family members to Shrine hospitals for treatment. Treatment and transportation are at no cost to the family, and fundraisers like the local fish fry support the medical care the children receive.
The fish fry is something that the community looks forward to, with many years selling completely out of fish – but the timing is uncannily close to when the event is over. Larry Parker and Ray Fields are two mainstays of the fish fry, and Seifert said that the former Highway Patrolmen really know how to move things along when they need to.
Rose asked Seifert how many fish fry events he’d attended over the years. With only a slight pause, Seifert stated “It’s been most of them – I was here and I was a Shriner, so I was at the fish fry.”