The weather blessed our Sept. 13 Fish Fry with one of the best days ever for the event. After a summer rainy spell that dumped an estimated 10 inches on the county in a month, the skies cleared the day before and the sun shone on one of the nicest stretches of autumn-like weather locals had ever seen. At least partially as a result of the sunshine and mild temperatures, attendance reached pre-pandemic numbers. Some 250 Club members and guests crowded Atagahi Park’s two pavilions or picked up take-out meals served by our volunteers. “It was awesome!” said outgoing President Myron Pstrak. “I think people were ready to get back to enjoying an outdoor gathering… and the weather sure presented the opportunity.” Club member Dave Hunter, after the fry, exclaimed, “What a tradition!”

The Club has been putting on the popular event, one of the largest of its kind in Connestee, almost since its founding in 1980. It is produced each year almost entirely by a corps of volunteers, this time headed for the third year in a row by Randy Bunn. “I was very pleased with the turnout, both by the many volunteers who made it possible and the Club members and their guests who attended,” he said.

“There were, as usual, a few wrinkles,” said Randy, “there always are, but overall it went very well and the crowd seemed to really enjoy themselves.”

Such “wrinkles” as running out of coleslaw and lemon wedges toward the end didn’t seem to phase anyone. The production lines of amateur chefs and servers, the raffle attendants and the various support staff agreed the operation went smoothly. Meals were served in keep-warm boxes during 11 pick-up time slots. Just minutes before each, the corn-cooking crew boiled and wrapped batches of the nearly 250 ears served and men manning deep fryers turned out the large-size specially breaded catfish fillets.

The raffle and silent auction awarded 35 prizes. And the popular Wine Bonanza raffle had so many bottles of donated wines that it presented four prizes instead of the usual three:

Joan Valdes and Jim Pence, of Utsonati Lane, won the top prize, 48 bottles. Tracy Berry won the second prize of 24 bottles. And Amy Osterberg and Rob Sisserson each won the next two prizes, a dozen bottles each.

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