By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Tie on a bib and bring your appetite because it’s time again for the annual Shrimp & Fish Fry hosted by the Rotary Club of Port Isabel. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday at Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark on South Padre Island.
Around 700 people are expected to attend the Club’s largest fundraiser of the year, but both the menu and the format will be a little different this year, said Rotary Club President-Elect DeeOnda Ahadi. “We’re doing shrimp and not just fish,” she said, adding that the meals will cost $10 per plate. Rounding out the menu are a side of coleslaw and hushpuppies. Beverages will be available at the bar.
The event will also feature an Awareness Booth with representatives from local non-profits on hand to discuss “what they do, and what they do for the community,” Ahadi said. Also on site will be United Blood Services, who will be accepting blood donations throughout the event. Currently, the Valley’s blood supply is low, said Ahadi.
But it’s not just food people can expect. This year’s Shrimp & Fish Fry will be more interactive, as well. Bottles of wine will be auctioned off, and Angela Haskett will host karaoke.
Rotary Club members will staff the event, and all proceeds will go to the Club’s general fund. “Every penny, including our dues, goes to support charity,” said member Ebbie Ahadi. “We do scholarships … We support the Boys and Girls Club,” he said. The Club also uses funds to provide dictionaries and reading books to Port Isabel elementary school students, as well as to support international charitable efforts. Thus far, Club funds have helped to build a school in Honduras, Ahadi said.
Last year, the event raised approximately $6,000, said DeeOnda Ahadi. The Club also raises funds through a flag placement program that allows businesses and residents to purchase the placement of American flags during patriotic holidays such as the Fourth of July and Presidents Day. Businesses can purchase flags starting at $75 for the first, $50 for the second, and $25 for each additional flag after that. Residents can purchase flags for $50, Ahadi said. Once purchased, Rotary Club volunteers fan out from Laguna Vista to the Island to place them.
One new fundraising venture kick started just this fall is the Rescue Run. Half the proceeds from the 5K event, which was held in September, went to support first responders, while the other half went into the Club’s general fund, Ahadi said.
Ahadi was excited about the Club’s events and the community’s support, particularly the municipal support the Club receives. “The City of Port Isabel and South Padre Island really support what we do,” she said, expressing her appreciation.
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