75th annual Lions Club Fish Fry is here

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Past council member and recently former member of the Planning Commision, and, of course, Seal Beach Lion Vic Grgas dispenses fish and fries at a past Fish Fry. Sun staff file photo

Iconic event set to be held weekend of July 20 and 21

Excitement mounts, as Seal Beach gets ready to host one of its most popular and longest running community events, the 75th Annual Lions Club Fish Fry. For three-quarters of a century the Lions Club has fired up the fryers, grills, coleslaw, bands and so much more for its largest fundraising event of the year.

But who are the Seal Beach Lions? Lions Club International (LCI) is a global organization dedicated to humanitarian efforts all over the world, and the Seal Beach Lions Club is the largest club in California and the biggest in North and South America boasting over 350 members. Additionally, the Seal Beach Lions oversee three youth programs (LEOS) with over 300 members ranging in age from 11 to 17. Newly added and the first club in California is the Seal Beach Cubs Program which is one of the newest membership programs designed for young families with children as young as infants up to 10 years. Three months ago, then District Governor Randy McMillan inducted 17 “cubs” and their parents

The Seal Beach Lions Club is known in the community as the “go to” organization for just about anything happening in town or the local school district. They are the first ones called when there is a need for manpower. Just about every event in Seal Beach has Lions involvement either in a lead or supporting role.

In 2015, the club donated a ‘town clock’ to the community in recognition of the City’s centennial. It sits at the foot of the pier proudly showing the Lions logo on its clock face.

In 2019, the Seal Beach Lions Club was named the Best Of Gold Ribbon Winner in six categories, including Best: Non-profit, Family Event – Christmas Parade, Cultural Event – the Arts & Crafts Faire, Annual Event – Fish Fry, Landmark – The Lions Centennial Clock and best Teen ambassador Gold and Silver – Chelsea Linton and Breezy Whering, all by The Sun Newspaper. Annually, the club donates between $90,000-$100,000, some for community projects and the rest to things ranging from pediatric cancer, diabetes, vision, hearing, environment, hunger and our veterans. 100% of the money earned from fundraisers goes directly to charities and community projects. All administrative costs and overhead are paid for by member’s dues.

The Fish Fry, for our 75th Annual and 80th year anniversary of the club is themed “Fishnado” an homage to the outstanding film series “Sharknado.” The Fish Fry is the single largest sustained event effort over two days always in July, is scheduled to take place on the weekend of July 20 and 21. It runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Sunday, under the Lions clock tower at the foot of the Seal Beach Pier. Deep-fried cod and fries supplied by South Coast Seafood will be hot and ready along with hot dogs and brats and ice-cold beer, from our friends at 805, and white & red wines. Outstanding entertainment will be provided both days. Saturday will feature Sound Channel, Joe Schmoe, Robbie Armstrong, and also The Loosers. Then Sunday will include The Kor4, Jennifer Corday (a fellow Lion!) Flying Squad, Persons of Interest and finally Xntricks.

Of course, you cannot miss the opportunity drawing on Sunday afternoon where the Lions will be giving away a 2019 Subaru Cross Trek, the merchant raffle and the other prizes from local businesses. The event is sponsored by The City of Seal Beach, the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce, The Sun News as our official Guidebook and this year’s title sponsor Republic Services.

The Seal Beach Lions Club’s motto is “WE SERVE”. First and foremost, Lions use their muscles, minds and hearts to better the community in any way they can. They also give generously to important local and international charities. Members of the Lions and Leos have expended more than 30,000 community service hours each year. Some notable projects of Seal Beach Lions include: Sailing with the Wind for the blind and visually impaired with the Seal Beach Yacht Club, the eyeglass recycling program, sight clinics, Beepball for the blind, our lead position on the district 4l-4 sight team, St. Baldrick’s pediatric cancer fundraiser with Hennessey’s, community Lions Against Graffiti removal team (LAG), Honor the Teacher, Read across America, our Veteran’s & Memorial Day events, the aforementioned award winning events, and their very active Military Affairs Committee which works in close collaboration with active military and veteran programs. Additionally, there are dozens more of initiatives and long-term projects that most of the community doesn’t even know the club is involved with.

Visit sealbeachlions.org for band schedule, food options & pricing and even general information.