Community bond with annual Fish Fry event stronger than rain

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Weekend rains didn’t stop the 71st annual Seal Beach Fish Fry.

It rained Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19 on the annual fund raising event.

According to Lion Seth Eaker, attendance over the weekend was 4,000-5,000, which was down from an average of 7,000 in prior years.

Lions estimate that revenues were down about 20 percent from last year.

“What was amazing to me is the strong bond that the community has with the Fish Fry,” according to Eaker.

“We lost a lot of visitors due to rain but our local community still came out even in the pouring rain,” Eaker said.

On Saturday, Lion Scott Newton said that the event could have shut down more than once but the Lions kept going.

According to Lion Gary Snow, who served as security for part of the event, the Saturday rain caused a temporary stop of cooking operations and also caused a brief power outage.

But accordin to Snow, the loss of power didn’t stop the Robby Armstrong Band. They just kept on playing.

On Saturday afternoon, Seal Beach Lifeguards closed the beach. However, the Fish Fry continued, volunteers and guests undeterred by rain. “This is only the second time the fish fry has been so difficult from a weather standpoint,” Eaker said.

As for the raffle winners, they were:

• Grand Prize: Cindy and Danny Singer of La Puente (2015) Ford Fusion in Bronze Fire.

After hearing an apparently garbled voice message, Singer reportedly told her family: “I’m not sure if I heard that right, but I think we just won a car!”

Eaker said that Singer and her husband Danny are members of the La Habra Host Lions club, and know some of the Seal Beach Lions. “She said they buy a car ticket from us every year,” according to Eaker.

• Pedego Bike (Blue): Rick Silverlake of Huntington Beach

• Pedego Bike (Red): Mark Frazier of Long Beach

• MacBook Air: Connie Baker of Seal Beach

According to Eaker, more than 250 Lions, Leos and friends volunteered to make the annual event happen.

“Special thanks to Lions: Mike Gibbons (Car Drawing), Mike Haley (president and co-chair for Fish Fry) and Marcia Haley (Vice Chair), Camille Romano and Shani Rae (Merchant Raffle), the Miss Seal Beach Court, Co-Chairman Scott Newton and Vice Chair Cathy Newton, Lion Lindsay Safe, Lion Ryan and Adriana Ziegenbusch,  Also, the engaged couple, Diana Brunjes and Grant Newton, the indomitable Scott Weir who with Knuete Freeman were able to coordinate breakdown,” according to Eaker.

Ziegenbusch, who proudly wore her Lion of the Year sash throughout the weekend, worked at the Fish Fry beer garden on Saturday and sang “La Bamba” with the band Sugar Lips on Sunday.

“Thanks to Caremore and Pedego Electric bikes for sponsoring the bike valet and some waters,” Eaker said.

To make a comment on this story at the Sun Newspapers’ website, go to www.sunnews.org.

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