Fish Frydays are all About the Community

Local fish frys in Naperville continue to sizzle up the Fridays of Lent.

Churches like St. Raphael’s have been serving fish dinners to parishioners and community members alike, bringing them together for food and fun.

“It’s very heartwarming, in so many different ways. We get the Knights of Columbus council together to do the volunteer work, but we also bring in an outside organization each week, tonight we have the Boy Scout group here. It’s very rewarding for everybody, plus you get a great meal out of it,” said Dan Schwartz, a grand knight of St. Raphael’s council.

“One of the things that serving the individuals of the parish here does is it helps the boys understand that giving back to the community is a good thing as well as serving others,” said Jeff Kosiba, the charter organization representative for Boy Scout Troop 510.

On average 200 to 300 fish dinners are prepared and brought to the church by Cuomo Catering for the event run by the parish’s Knights of Columbus.

I’m also a Eucharistic minister here at the church so I’m quite involved in the church,” said David Gotowko, a parishioner and partner with Cuomo Catering. “So when they approached the Knights of Columbus a few years back, well 10 years back, to do this they came to me and asked if this was something that we could possibly do for them.”

Another fish fry being served up this time of year is at the Judd Kendall VFW. 300 to 500 guests come per week to enjoy some fish while supporting our veterans.

“And it’s the largest fundraiser we have all year. This one takes the most amount of effort and coordination and resources and stuff like that. So we’re very happy to have the community come out here and get support from the mayor, the city council on down,” said David Angelus, the junior vice commander for Judd Kendall VFW Post.

Belgio’s caters the VFW’s fish fry. Preparation of the 200 pounds of cod and tilapia each starts on the Thursday before.

“We really enjoy everything we do every single day,” said Raul Armenta, the executive chef for Belgio’s. “And I think when we come over here people like our food and it keeps us going on and we want to make sure that we feed every single one with all the stuff they need to eat, and try to do the best we can.”

A meal that supports veterans, and feeds them too.

“It is to meet up with good people and it’s for a good cause,” said Lloyd Mckee, a veteran and attendee. “Most of us are cause-driven and supporting veterans and supporting community is a good cause.”

St. Raphael’s will serve fish through Friday, April 7 and the Judd Kendall VFW will have their last fish fry after lent, on April 14.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.

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