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Friday fish fry tradition feeds faithful… and area charities

March 03, 2017 11:51 PM

Rochester area charities received a fishy infusion of aid as churches across the region held their Friday fish fry fundraisers.

“At 5:45 we had 325 filets cooked and we ran out!” exclaimed George Schenk with the Knights of Columbus at St. Mark’s Church in Greece.

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Marcy 3 was the first Friday of the 2017 Lenten season and the fish fry at St Mark’s brought out huge crowds for the 54 volunteers who served up fish, fries, pizza and pasta.

“Fish fry is our main moneymaker I guess I'll call it,” said Schenck who explained that, while the Knights of Columbus hold other events throughout the year, their biggest fundraiser is the fish fry dinners on Fridays during Lent, when Catholics traditionally abstain from eating meat.

The St. Marks Council of the Knights has held its event on Fridays during lent for 19 years.  In 2016, the council’s fish fry dinners raised about $8600 for causes like youth groups, charity food baskets, hospices and the Boy Scouts.  “There are so many different places that we give to,” Schenck explained. “The Greece council put in an ultrasound machine.  We try to do anything to help mothers.”

That included mothers like Isamarada Rivera.  Already a mother of two children and expecting a third, she sought help at Rochester’s Focus Pregnancy Center, one of the newest beneficiaries of aid from the Knights of Columbus fundraisers.

“They help me with clothing,” she said, “with food for the baby, with diapers.  I said ‘I need some stuff for the baby.’  So what a good place to go!”

The Focus Pregnancy Center provides struggling mothers with essentials like clothes, diapers, formula, and food.   Director Mary Yost explained that the organization depends on donations and frequently doesn’t know where the next contribution will come from or how big it will be.  Becoming a fundraising cause for the Knights of Columbus fish fry dinners was a welcome source of aid, she said. 

“People are very generous,” she said.  “And we sure need that generosity here because things are expensive, you know, with diapers and formula, that's quite a bit."

Credits

Charles Molineaux

Copyright 2017 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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