Fish fry, friends and fellowship

Published 5:01 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Columbus church fundraiser brings community together

COLUMBUS – “We thought about changing to barbeque one time, but fried food is a Southern tradition,” said Foothills Community Chapel member Marty Chupp at the fall fish fry on Thursday, Sept. 28. According to Chupp, most people come to the semi-annual fish fry for the great food as well as the fellowship.

Chupp said the fish fry began 17 years ago as a fundraiser for their current building. “Now it’s become so big, it’s an outreach to the community,” he said, explaining that they regularly serve 1,100 or more people twice a year.

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Now, a lot of the funds go to help around the community such as the fire department and other community projects. Suggested donation for a plate was $12. Folks stand in line in the sun waiting to get in and either join their friends at the table or take a plate home.

“We serve Alaskan Pollack, hush puppies, baked beans, coleslaw, French fries and tremendous desserts,” said Chupp. While most of the food is purchased from a vender, the women of Foothills Community Chapel make the desserts, such as pies, cakes, pralines and even sugar free desserts.

“We come for the food,” said Tryon resident, Chuck Davis who attended with his wife, Virginia Davis.

“The coleslaw is my favorite,” said Virginia. “We’ve been coming every year for at least 10 years.”

Chupp explained that while they started with a small two-burner cooker, today it takes the entire congregation to put on the event. “We have at least 100 people here today, he said. “Others have been working for months to bring everything together.”

The church members handle everything from parking cars to serving food. The men (and a few women) gather outside behind the building under a tent to fry the fish, hush puppies and French fries. Women and older girls handle the serving lines and the children run the food between the tent and the kitchen.

“A lot of people in the community look forward this event,” Chupp said. “Sometimes this is the only time they might get to see some of their friends and neighbors.”