How do you feed 250 people in three hours—and still have food left over? Just as anyone helping out at the annual Seniors’ Fish Fry at Sunny Cove Camp on Sunday.
It was like being in Santa’s workshop that morning, with close to 20 volunteers from the Fort Frances Sportsmen’s Club peeling more than 100 pounds of potatoes, chopping onions, and dipping fish.
And they didn’t forget the fixings, like coleslaw, beans, rolls and Alex Kapac’s not-so-secret recipe for tartar sauce—one jar of relish/one jar of mayonnaise.
While it’s a lot of work, preparing the meal for area seniors year in and year out is almost second nature for many of these volunteers.
Kapac has been organizing the event for some 15 years. Its roots go back to when he was first approached by the International Falls Sport Fishing Club to put on a fish fry for Borderland seniors.
“I allowed somebody to talk me into it,” Kapac laughed over how he was given the title of event organizer. But he’s continued to take on that responsibility each year.
When it first started, the two clubs teamed up and split the costs, with a bus carrying seniors from International Falls. About four years ago, though, the Falls club decided it would host its own because so many seniors couldn’t make it over to this side of the border.
But because it was so popular with local seniors, the local sportsmen’s club decided it would continue the fish fry on its own.
“I think it’s a super community venture," enthused Vic Alberts, who has volunteered at all but one of them. "It’s the idea that a lot of these people only have one feed of fish each year.”
“It do enjoy the fish fry. It’s a nice function,” admitted Sue Korosec, who started cooking at the fish fry three years when her husband, Leo, volunteered them for the job.
“When I got up there, I didn’t know what I was going to be doing and I ended up in the kitchen with Dianna Engstrom,” she recalled.
Since then, she’s continued to team up with Engstrom at the stove each year. And she noted people walk back into the kitchen every year to tell them how much they appreciated their efforts.
Korosec felt the fish fry gave people a chance to mix and mingle with people they didn’t often get to see. And it was done over lunch, without it costing them anything.
The potatoes were donated by Gerbers and the Kiwanis Club donated the hall, with the club picking up the rest of the bill.
The leftovers were taken to Sister Kennedy Centre here, which will allow those who didn’t make it out to Sunny Cove a chance to have some fish—and those who were there a chance for a second helping.