Seal Beach Lions Club prepares for its 70th Annual Fish Fry

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The Seal Beach Lions and Leos will be presenting the 70th Annual Fish Fry in Eisenhower Park on Saturday July 19 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 20 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m..

The longest running Lions Fish Fry in the nation, Seal Beach expects more than 7,000 meals to be served over the course of the weekend.

Lindsay Safe, outgoing Lions president, said: “This event is really the crowning achievement for the Lions club.  It is our biggest fundraiser and funds so many of our programs, both locally and internationally.”

It is expected that more than 16,000 people will attend the event over the two days.

Camille Romano, the incoming president has had quite the history with the merchant raffle along with other roles in the Fish Fry.

She said: “It is remarkable to see so many of our Lions and Leos working together with the community to have a fun, festive weekend.”

Continuing the tradition from last year, co-chair, Mike Haley shared: “We have a VIP area for our title sponsor, Original Parts Group and some of our other key partners. This will give nearby reserved seating and open space near the band area which will allow them to enjoy the event even more.”

In addition, the Braille Leos will also be on hand working with the other Leos in food preparation and service to the guests.

With a focus on charity work on behalf of vision and hearing impairment, Lions International does all it can to help with those so challenged.  The Lions ask guests to be sure to thank the Leos and Lions when you go through that food line, because they are really working.

The Seal Beach Leo Club has more than 100 members ranging in age from 12 – 18 years old.

They provide service to the community and help the less fortunate through projects and fundraisers.

Fans of the group say that what has been remarkable about the growth of the Seal Beach Lions Club is how many of the new Lions are Leos who have grown up in the group and continue to follow the Lion’s motto of “We Serve.”

The Lions Club also is host to dozens of citizen activists who have seen decades of the Fish Fry. Their efforts contribute to a large number of local, regional and national charities and initiatives.

Service projects include Opening day at Seal Beach Pony Baseball, River and Beach clean-ups, Breakfast with Santa, Seal Beach Christmas Parade, Sail for the Blind, Ronald McDonald House, CASA Youth Shelter, Roar for Autism, Beep ball for Braille, LAHS Every-15-Minutes, the CLFS program (California Lions Friends in Sight) and many more.

In preparation for the Fish Fry, several improvements were made to ensure an even better event than last year.

The Lions will continue to utilize a ticket only system once in the enclosed area and a rigorous wristband program.

Mike Haley said: “We have professional security, our key experienced volunteer security and the support of the Seal Beach police department.  We want to be sure all of our guests have a safe time at the event.”

A new ticket bin was built for the car drawing that increases ticket capacity to more than 1000 canisters, and the Lions will be doing drawings in front of the stage during the Chamber of Commerce sponsored Merchant Raffle.

The new bin has plenty of room to thoroughly mix the canisters before the drawing.

Finally, the entire concession area, booth walls and table coverings were built and painted with the signature “Lions Goldenrod” paint to increase visibility.

Steadily, the Lions Club volunteers, more than 200 of them, will work in every capacity to create a great community experience.

Dancing, hanging out, preparing food and simply visiting with neighbors and families, while raising money for good causes is what it is all about.

As Scott Newton, a longtime Lion and citizen activist says, “Lionism is about service, and the Fish Fry allows us to serve our community not only literally with fish and brats, but also by raising money which goes back to help our mission.

“Lions are my extended family, and this is perhaps the longest continuously running Fish Fry west of the Mississipi. So come down and eat some fish and listen to our bands. Someone is going to win a car too.”

Finally, don’t forget to buy your ticket for the Lions Opportunity Drawing, to which the grand prize is a 2014 black Ford Escape.

For more information and to download forms for the drawing, go to www.sealbeachlions.org

Seal Beach Lions Club prepares for its 70th Annual Fish Fry