ELIZABETHTOWN — Around 2 p.m. on Thursday, there was finally a lull in the traffic coming through Trinity United Methodist Church’s activity building on Broad Street. The Methodist Men, aided by quite a few Methodist women, had been busy all morning preparing whiting fillets, slaw, baked beans, and beverages for their annual fish fry.
“We finally got a break,” said Nancy Tatum in the early afternoon. “We’ve been serving as fast as we can with two lines going.”
Basil and Pat White, known in the area as decent cooks themselves who frequently prepare food for masses of people, ventured out with their granddaughter, Megan, Thursday to partake of a feast prepared by someone else.
“We come up here every year,” Basil said. “They always do a good job with it.”
After the majority of the lunch crowd came through, the men reported that they had sold around 500 plates.
“With two lines going serving people, the most anybody had to wait was about 5 minutes,” informed Methodist Men Marvin Tatum.
The drive-thru saw the most traffic, with around 200 people taking advantage of the convenience. Diners could also carry out or eat in the activity center.
“People really like the drive-thru,” said Tatum. “It makes it easy for them.”
The pace picked back up again around 4 p.m., and, according to Tatum, maintained a steady rate until the end at 7 p.m.
After everything was said and done, the men sold around 970 plates and raised, prior to expenses, thousands of dollars. Money raised will be used to benefit the Bladen Journal’s Empty Stocking Fund, Bladen Crisis, The Boys’ Homes of North Carolina, and different needy groups or individuals within the county.
“We do so many things on the spur of the moment to help people,” stated Tatum. “We just use the money to respond to needs as we find out about them when they come up.”
He added, “The whole day went very smoothly. It was one of the best we’ve ever had. The cooks did a great job, and people really supported it. I’ve been getting feedback all day (Thursday and Friday) telling me how much they enjoyed it and saying it was the best fish we’ve ever had.”
What was the best part of the day, according to Nancy Tatum? The Methodist Men did all of the cleanup.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.