Lions to fry fish and help the blind

Seal Beach Lions Club

The Seal Beach Host Lions Club is gearing up for its 66th annual Fish Fry.

The event has been a staple of the fun and activities that define this beach town known as “Mayberry By The Sea” since before the sport of surfing ever caught the imagination of the people that live by its shores.

As constant as the tides that rise and fall along the seaside city’s perimeter, the Seal Beach chapter of the international club has put forth the community event to raise money for its main charity work of eye care. In the meantime, it has created an event that is filled with down home feeling and west coast charm.

“Hey, it’s the fish fry. Of course I’ll stay home for that,” said Joe Gallo, a longtime Seal Beach resident who recently returned to town after visiting the Hawaiian Islands. “Sometimes around this time of year I do go out of town, but I try to be here for the fish fry. This event is about people raising money for others out of the kindness of their heart, not because it was legislated by a government that wants to pick their pocket.”

This year the Lion’s annual Fish Fry will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 17 and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday July 18, at Eisenhower Park near the foot of the city of Seal Beach’s historic pier at the end of the city’s Main Street. There will be live entertainment, with people dancing to the rhythms of the music and sizzling sounds of barbecue burners cooking fish, bratwurst ‘n onions and french fries. The fish fry is always a celebration of the town’s traditions and a way to raise money for the Lions’ main cause of eye care.

The Leos, a teen-age equivalent of Lions, do much of the cooking and serving of the food at the event. There will also be quarter-pound hot dogs, homemade lemonade, sodas, beer and wine.

“We hope many of our fellow Seal Beach residents come join in the excitement,” said longtime Lions Club member Jackie Maloney. “The Lions will be collecting old eyeglasses for their Recycling and Eye Exam Clinics held every year in Third World Countries. There will be collection boxes on the grounds during the event.”

To keep folks on their toes, there will be prize winners announced from the mini-raffle on the hour and half-hour. Merchants in and around Seal Beach donate the items for the mini-raffles.

Entertainment will be performed compliments of the bands: Joe Schmoe, Avalon Highway, Bootleg Honey, Larry and Company, Tyg Firestorm, Retro Suspects, Danny Dean and the always crowd-pleasing Dave and Andrew Band.

This year the Lions will also hold its ninth annual Car Opportunity Drawing for a 2010 Ford Escape. Only 500 tickets are sold every year at $100 each. The car drawing will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. The winner need not be present to be awarded the car. Tickets for the car drawing are still available: Call Jackie Maloney (562) 431-6092.