“Whole catfish or fillet?” This was the question asked everyone at the Hannibal Nutrition Center’s Good Friday fish fry. Most preferred a whole catfish, which was being fried by Gene Scholes and other volunteers.
“Whole catfish or fillet?”
This was the question asked everyone at the Hannibal Nutrition Center’s Good Friday fish fry. Most preferred a whole catfish, which was being fried by Gene Scholes and other volunteers.
The cooks, servers and people selling tickets were volunteers, and many were greeting long-time friends as the line moved along the serving counter.
Michael Hall, Jason Poage and others were filling the plates, and each meal included baked beans, potato salad, cornbread, dessert and coffee or iced tea.
In the kitchen, cupcakes were being iced by Kathy Scholes and Addison Cunningham.
At the long table offering pies and cakes of many colors and flavors, Linda Wood and her mom, Betty Moyers, were keeping busy.
The nutrition center was hosting its annual Good Friday fund-raiser for the 24th time, and board member Lyndon Bode reported he had been there every year.
Bode was selling the $7 tickets as people arrived, along with Jessica Hawkins, one of several employees of F&M Bank who were volunteering.
Eva Bates and John Ernest were visiting with friends, and she reported they are there often, especially on Thursdays, when “we eat fried chicken and play bingo.”
At another table, Clara and John Higdon were catching up with their friends’ news.
Mayor Roy Hark was among the first in line when the noon meal began, as he collected several meals to carry out.
The fish fry was served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with carry-outs provided both times.
Funds raised will help finance the nutrition center’s home-delivered meals program.
As the last meals were being served Friday evening, nutrition center Executive Director Debbie Catlett reported, “We have had a fantastic day. I do not have numbers, but it will probably be a record-breaking year. I would guess we had done right at 1,000 dinners.”
The successful fund-raiser was attributed to “a combination of things,” Catlett added. “God is good, and people care about the center. A lot of people come, because they want to help the center.
“Between home deliveries and program meals for the Hannibal Supervision Center and the Hannibal Area (Council on) Drug and Alcohol Abuse, we did 1,700 meals. … They also get treated today to fish.”
Emphasizing how important the volunteers are, Catlett said, “we have had wonderful volunteers.
“Hirmaline Whitney coordinated getting a lot of homemade desserts from our wonderful senior clubs. And all the board members bring in desserts.
“F&M Bank sent people to both shifts, and so many of my board members were also here to help. … Steve Carroll is serving fish right now, and Sarah Deien is getting ready for the weekend catering (for Easter).”
In addition to the fish fry, another fund-raiser was taking place near the front door. Jan Baker, past president of the local AARP Chapter No. 4610, explained funds from the sale of raffle tickets for the quilt on display will help fund the AARP’s two annual $500 scholarships.
The quilt was made by Bonnie Glendinning. Tickets sell for $2 or three for $5, Baker said, and this fund-raiser will continue until the Nov. 20 AARP meeting, when the winner will be drawn.
For more pictures, see photo gallery.