TODD — Guests lined up around the side of the Zion United Methodist Church’s fellowship hall on the afternoon of July 3 for the chance to get a plate of freshly fried flounder and sides — part of a string of annual fundraiser events held by the church.

Each year, the Todd community looks forward to the food and fellowship that comes with Zion United Methodist Church’s fish fry events, which are typically held periodically from May through October. Though not usually held in July due to conflicting community events, this year marks an exception, with the church moving forward with their fry following the cancellation of this year’s Christmas in July event in West Jefferson. Guests enjoyed an afternoon of catching up with old friends while also partaking in the freshly prepared meal put together by church volunteers.

The flounder plates came with sides of slaw, baked potatoes, hushpuppies dessert and a drink. The cost of the plates were $12 for adults and $10 for children, with all proceeds from the fundraiser going towards the upkeep of the church, as well as helping community members in needs.

“It’s for maintenance around the church, caring for the grounds. If there’s someone we find out about, especially in the community, who’s fallen on hard-times, then we use that money for that,” said Arnold Houck, a Sunday School superintendent at the Zion Methodist Church. “Anything from buying heating oil for the church to helping a neighbor out.”

With its fellowship hall packed full of guest, church officials said they were thankful and blessed to have received such an outpouring of support at this weekend’s event.

“I thought it would do good, but I didn’t think it would do this good. We’re looking to sell out of everything,” said Houck. “So far, it’s done really, really well.”

A labor of love, the fundraisers themselves are a completely volunteer effort, which according to Houck, takes a week’s worth of preparation.

“It’s a lot of work; it’s not just a Saturday thing, it takes all week long to prepare and clean and get the supplies set up,” Houck said. “It’s a lot of people doing a lot of different things. It’s not just one person doing just one thing. Some people do way more than they have to but when you’re a small church that’s the way it has to go.”

The fish fry’s are held the first Saturday of each month, with the next one scheduled to be held in August.

For more information about the fish fry’s follow the Zion United Methodist Church on social media at www.facebook.com/NewRiverZionUMC or call (336) 877-9002. The church is located at 303 Mill Creek Road outside of Todd.

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