ELIZABETHTOWN — The Methodist Men of Trinity United Methodist Church are warming up the fryers and breaking out the baskets as they begin preparing for Thursday’s annual fish fry benefit.
“This makes about 25 years that we’ve been doing this,” said Marvin Tatum, a Methodist Men member. “We started the Methodist Men around that time, and the fish fry just evolved from that.”
Over the years, the men have made small adjustments to the menu and to the logistics after hearing feedback from patrons.
“Last year, for example, we put pineapples in the baked beans,” Tatum said. “This year when I sold the tickets, I asked everybody that bought a ticket what they thought of the beans last year. We always do that — ask people what they think — because we want to give them what they want.”
The implementation of feedback is evidently working for the group, which sold around 800 plates last year. They are, according to Tatum, planning on 1,000 plates this year.
“The more the merrier,” joked Methodist Men member Steve Willis. “We’ll be prepared for them.”
The group’s success can be attributed to a couple of different things.
“I think it’s because we always try to give people a good meal and good service,” speculated Willis.
Tatum took another view.
“The community has been so supportive, and we really appreciate it” said Tatum. “We get a lot of support from other churches and civic organizations because, I think, they know that we’ll do good things for the community with the money. In this area, if you tell people what you’re doing, they’ll support it.”
Money raised is used support the Bladen Journal’s annual Empty Stocking Fund and to help different needy groups or individuals within the county, such as the senior center and Bladen Crisis.
This year’s menu will consist of two whiting fillets, slaw, baked beans, hush puppies, and tea or water, and will cost $7. Patrons can eat in the activity building behind the church or they may utilize a drive-thru for takeout plates. Deliveries of 10 or more plates will be provided within a 5-mile radius of the church.
The fish fry will take place on Thursday, April 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the church on West Broad Street in Elizabethtown.
To place an order ahead for pickup or delivery, call 910-876-2519 or 910-874-2571.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.