The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

By Dave Rogers
For the Record 

KC Fish Fry adjust to COVID-19

 

Last updated 3/9/2021 at 10:52pm

Dave Rogers

Mel Campbell reaches from her car to take a meal home from the drive-through-only Knights of Columbus Lenten Fish Fry Friday, March 5 in Bridge City. A $10 meal including fish, fries, cole slaw and hush puppies is available from 10:30 a.m to 1 p.m. Fridays through March.

If the year-long coronavirus pandemic has taught people anything, it's to think creatively.

So, after the Bridge City Knights of Columbus had to cancel their annual Lenten Friday Fish Frys in 2020 because of COVID-19 social gathering restrictions, they came up with a workaround.

They are serving the $10 meals via a couple of drive-through lanes in the parking lot of their building at 770 Avenue A, just off West Roundbunch Road, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays March 12, March 19 and March 26.

They're at the halfway mark of their six-week run and it's on track to be their most successful.

"In terms of results, the first three weeks of this one is really trending higher than it has in the past," said Forrest Overstreet, Grand Knight – or president – of the Catholic men's organization.

"We've been averaging about 640 dinners sold per Friday."

The proceeds from the annual event are split between Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas, Orange Christian Services, Bridge City-Orangefield Ministerial Alliance and the Richter Food Bank at St. Paul United Methodist Church.

"The basic premise of the thing is a good way to give back and let everybody know that we appreciate everything that they do for our members," Overstreet said.

"It's our largest fundraiser and probably our largest event where we can all get together and enjoy camaraderie. It's hard work but people look forward to the camaraderie as well as they look forward to having great fish in Lent."

After sitting out the Lenten season a year ago, the KC held a first drive-through fish fry for five weeks last October.

The tasty food is made as before by a crew of 50 to 60 men, who package fish, cole slaw, hush puppies and French fries for diners.

The Ladies of St. Henry, a group of about 50 women who maintain the sanctuary and priests' vestments at St. Henry Catholic Church next door to the KC Hall, take charge of desserts.

Members bake cakes and sell generous pieces for $1 each at the end of the drive-through lanes.

Dave Rogers

Fred Hubert visits with Ruth Wallace from his truck as he awaits his dessert order from the Ladies of St. Henry Friday, March 5 at the Knights of Columbus Fish Fry in Bridge City. A $10 meal including fish, fries, cole slaw and hush puppies is available from 10:30 a.m to 1 p.m. Fridays through March.

"All the cakes are donated by the ladies," said Katy Latiolais, president of the Ladies of St. Henry. "We work real hard to make that money."

Funds they raise pays for cleaning the altar linens and robes used in church services.

"We buy wine for the church also," Latiolais said.

Before COVID, the Ladies of St. Henry held bake sales in the foyer of the church for the Valentine's and Thanksgiving holidays.

"We do make a good amount of money," Latiolais said.

The group spends some of the money on Christmas gift boxes of toiletries for sailors visiting the International Seafarer's Center in Port Arthur.

"People used to line up for fish fry to-go orders, or go in (the KC Hall) and eat together," Latiolais said. "We've been doing it this way (via drive-through) since COVID."

The Knights of Columbus even deliver Friday fish to area plants.

"All the plants have the same lunch hours, so it's a challenge," he said. "But this is Texas. We've got a lot of pickup trucks and a lot of them have lids on the back.

"So we've been able to do that."

 

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