By Ian Oberg
Mason Times staff writer
The Arrival of Gill the fish kicked off the 25th annual Mason Knights of Columbus Fish Fry on Friday, Feb. 4 at St. James Catholic Church.
The giant multicolored fish is made of recycled laundry detergent bottles, and outfitted with LEDs to illuminate it at night. Positioned along Cedar Street by the driveway leading to the church, Gill accomplishes his task of drawing attention to the event.
The Knights’ first fish fry in 1986 sold a total of 67 dinners. Last year, the Knights sold 4801 dinners over the course of 10 weeks. This year, 420 dinners were sold in the first night. The event will run for 11 weeks this year, and the Knights are trying to outdo last year’s sales.
Organizing the event is the Mason Council #9182 of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic family fraternal organization which follows four principles. The main principle is charity.
“The fish fry benefits the Knights of Columbus,” said Deputy Grand Knight of the Mason council, Jeff Haueter “which directly affects our community.”
Haueter, the “fish head,” is the chairman of the event.
“We’ve bought things for our church here,” said Haueter. “All the tables and chairs you see, we’ve bought with fish fry proceeds, so we reinvest in our parish as well.”
“The church also just last year put in handicap doors,” added Denis White, Grand Knight of the Mason council. “The Knights are the ones who paid for the doors and installed them.”
White went on to list some of the organizations in the community that are aided by the proceeds from the fish fry.
“The event benefits our community in ways like Rainbow Homes, a home for people that are mentally challenged, based in Holt” said White. “A lot of our money goes to them.”
Knights of Columbus proceeds also go to help a number of other organizations like the American Cancer Society, capitol area community service for the food bank, Walk for Warmth, and school programs like Holt, Leslie, and Mason special education.
“We also run a 50-50 raffle, and all of the proceeds from that will go to benefit a scholarship fund that’s in memory of Robbie Stevens, a student who passed away last year,” said White.
The Knights of Columbus Fish Fry will run through April 15, and is open to the entire community. More information regarding times, pricing, and menu items can be found at the Mason Knights of Columbus website.