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PLATTSMOUTH – Apparently there are those who can’t wait for the fish fry season to start.

That was certainly clear last Friday when St. John the Baptist School hosted its first weekly fish fry in observance of the season of Lent.

“We had people waiting in line a half-hour before it opened,” said Sharon Cherek, a volunteer. “That’s because the fish here is so good.”

Like many other churches and organizations in the greater Omaha metro area, St. John’s hosts a Friday fish fry during this time of year. And, while it’s a fundraiser for the Church of the Holy Spirit, this event is really about bringing the community together, said Steve Dodd, volunteer.

What’s more, preparations for each fish fry begin many days in advance, he added.

This includes doing the necessary laundry, taking inventory of goods, placing food orders and contacting people who might be needed to work, Dodd said.

“There’s something to do every day,” he said.

And, on the day of the event, volunteers will start arriving as early as 8 a.m.

This past Friday, an estimated 300 meals were served, according to Dodd. This involved cooking about 30 pounds each of carp and shrimp, up to 70 pounds of walleye, plus 60 or so grilled cheese sandwiches, especially for the kids who might not want fish, he said. And, of course, there were plenty of side dishes that needed to be prepared, also.

“All of the soups are homemade, which is new this year,” he said.

Sadly, this was the first fish fry at the school without Lowell Daisley, who oversaw the event for many years. Daisley passed away in February. Fellow parishioners and the Knights of Columbus have now taken over his duties.

The St. John fish fry is also one of the few places around that includes live music, Dodd added.

The Old Krusty Minstrels featuring Pat Carroll, Larry Jensen, Ron Kolb and Terry Little provided the musical background at Friday’s supper.

“It’s a good atmosphere,” Little said, adding that many non-parishioners are volunteers at the event.

“It’s supported by the community and it’s appreciated.”

Those attending seemed to appreciate the whole atmosphere.

“This is real nice,” said Duane Hobscheidt. “I had the carp and it was real good and there was plenty of it, too.”

“The food is great and everybody is friendly,” said Alan Kohles of Ralston who came with Margie Polenz of Bellevue. “We’ll be back next week.”

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