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Proceeds from Knights of Columnbus fish fry help with community projects

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Father Ryan Council of the Knights of Columbus 6679, as well as St. Ann's Altar Society, served up over 650 fish dinners, raising money for an array of local causes Friday.

Over three hours, the dinner, located at the Knights of Columbus Hall near St. Peter Catholic Church, served a steady stream of suppertime customers, many en route to homecoming games across the county.

"We've been doing fine, and ticket sales are probably around what we average usually," said Chuck Burns, chairman of the Knights of Columbus' fish fry committee. "It wasn't our highest year for ticket sales, but I'd say it was about average."

Ten separate groups benefit from reselling tickets to the Jonah Fish Fry, an annual event which Burns believes has been held for the past nine years, typically the same weekend as Linton-Stockton High School's homecoming.

The 10 groups benefiting from the effort include:

* St. Peter Catholic Church Youth Group

* Greene County Special Olympics

* The Linton-Stockton High School Junior Class Prom

* Linton Pregnancy Choices

* Greene County Crime Stoppers

* Holy Name Catholic Church's Scripture Study Group

* The Linton Community Food Pantry

* The Greene County Swim Team Stingrays

* The Linton Music Festival

* Bloomfield Schools choral and music departments.

Notably, of the $7 adult admission price, $4 goes to the groups who resell the tickets. The remaining $3 goes to purchase the salads and food, as well as to pay to Jonah Fish Fry for cooking the meals.

Benefits to the groups also extended to walk-up business the night of the event.

Patrons who buy tickets as walk-in business the night of the fish fry could also designate which group received the benefit of their money. If no group's specified when the ticket is sold, the $4 is split between the 10 groups.

With around 650 tickets sold, the total benefit to the 10 groups should run about $2,600. However, since some of the tickets sold were the reduced rate of $4 for children, how much was actually raised isn't certain yet.

By far, Burns said the group which sold the most tickets to the fish fry was Linton's junior prom.

"Linton's junior class sold around 400 tickets," he explained.

The Knights of Columbus and St. Ann's Altar Society, which donates desserts and assists in staffing the dinner, make no money on the fundraiser. In fact, they typically lose a bit.

"While $3 from the ticket sales comes to us, we pay Jonah Fish Fry almost all of that, plus the salad and all the supplies," Burns explained. "The remaining $4 goes to the organizations circled on the back of the cards."

Linton City Councilwoman Linda Bedwell, who works with Special Olympics and dined at the fish fry Friday, praised the effort.

"The Knights of Columbus do not make a dime on the fish fry, and in fact, they go in the hole, as does the St. Ann's Altar Society, to do it," Bedwell said. "When they call it a community fundraiser, that's why. They're doing this for the community, and that's a wonderful thing."

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