By RAY QUIROGA
South Padre Parade
Forty volunteers, 400 pounds of fish, and about 700 guests are all expected at the 12 Annual Winter Texas Appreciation Fish Fry hosted by the Rotary Club of Port Isabel. The event will be held on Jan. 28 between 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Schlitterbahn Water Park,33261 State Park Road 100, South Padre Island.
Tickets are available at the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce and at the South Padre Island Visitors Center. The $7.50 per ticket price pays for the all-you-can eat fish fry. Michael Lafferty will provide the entertainment.
Proceeds from the event will go towards the club’s philanthropic efforts which include scholarships and participation in various Rotary programs such as the End Polio Now Campaign.
“The first one was held around 2001. This is before my time, but it started out as a South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau event. Then, after a couple of years, the Rotary Club took it over,” said Bettina Tolin, Rotary Club of Port Isabel President, as she explained the event’s evolution.
Tolin added that the event has become more and more successful through the years. “When I first started volunteering for it, we had nine sponsors, but each year we’ve had a goal and this year we have 21 sponsors,” she added.
According to Tolin, the $250 event sponsorships are key to making the Fish Fry a money making event for the club. “The sponsorships make the difference because our food runs about $4,000, and once we cover that we usually make $8,000, and this year we want to make about $10,000.”
Tolin went on to add that the club relies on all the club’s 45 members to make the event run as smoothly as possible. Tolin concluded by saying that club expects to feed anywhere between 700-800 guests. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the day of the event.