“It’s time for the fish fry at the VFW,” said Mayor Emeritus George Pradel.
Mayor Emeritus Pradel was just one of many Naperville residents at VFW Post 3873 for their annual fish fry.
“We have it every year at lent season, and it’s crowded tonight, as it was last week and the week before. This is old Naperville that’s a tradition; they come down to the VFW for fish. And the fish is delicious,” added Pradel.
Belgio’s Catering coordinates the food service for anywhere between 300 and 500 people, and over the past 50 years, it’s become a much-loved part of the Naperville social scene.
“Somebody mentioned once, you know to come here, it’s like old Naperville. Not that there aren’t new, young people, which is fantastic, but a lot of the old guys still come around. For the seniors, it’s a good place to eat; it’s reasonable to come early,” said VFW Member, Ken Garhan.
And it’s a great place for young people to give back. The VFW sponsors Boy Scout Troop 111 who come to volunteer for the weekly event.
“I think it’s a strong message letting them know that they need to give back to the community. It’s something that they’re going to learn as a life long skill, not only to take, but also to give back,” said Marty Squillaci, Scoutmaster for Troop 111.
The money raised through the event goes to help fund the Memorial Day parade, as well as various community projects and groups; something the VFW is passionate about.
“We have about seven or eight awards, national awards, from the VFW for community service and we’re pretty proud of those,” said Garhan.
Various nights are themed for different military branches, making a great dinner for an even better cause.
Naperville News 17’s Rachel Pierson reports.
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