Approximately 400 people recently enjoyed all-they-could-eat catfish with all the trimmings at the 5th Annual Rotary Club of Corpus Christi Northwest Fish Fry fundraiser.
The fundraiser was held Saturday at VFW Post 3837 in Calallen, and included a silent and live auction, with items from aromatherapy to a 5,000-watt generator donated by C.C. Distributors.
Games and face painting were provided for kids and three lucky raffle ticket winners won $250, $500 and $1,000, with Fermin Lerma of Robstown taking home the $1,000 prize.
The Fish Fry supports Calallen and Robstown college scholarships, as well as other area service projects.
Last year, two Waylon V. Litton $1,000.00 college scholarships and multiple smaller scholarships ranging from $100 to $500 were given to Calallen and Robstown students.
"Continued increases in the number of scholarships will help more families every year, a goal we have set for our Fish Fry," said Rotary Club member and Calallen Independent School District superintendent Arturo Almendarez.
The success of the 5th Annual Fish Fry supports raising the number and amount of Calallen and Robstown scholarships again this year. The number of college scholarships and amounts have increased every year from the single $250 scholarships awarded before the first Fish Fry in 2005, said Rotary Club president Mike Carlisle.
Students of the Calallen High School Rotary Interact Club and sponsor Marcie Thomas were key to the overall success of the event. Scholarships are awarded to the Interact participants based on essays written about their experiences working at the Fish Fry, and a special "Service Above Self" award for other project participations throughout the year as well.
The Calallen Interact members raised nearly $100 during the Fish Fry fundraiser for the Rotary Polio Plus program through an effort called Purple Pinky Day. For less than $1, Rotary International can immunize a person against Polio across the world, Carlisle said.
When a person donated a dollar at the Purple Pinky table, their pinky was dyed purple like the people who are immunized during an actual Rotary Polio immunization for tracking purposes.
The Rotary Club of Corpus Christi Northwest meets every Wednesday at the Chicken Shack and encourages community-minded business people to attend.