Shriners fish fry worthy of our support

September 24, 2013

It’s the time of year when many of this community’s civic and community organizations begin holding fundraising activities for a variety of extremely good causes.

One of those is the Shriners Fish Fry, being held Wednesday, Sept. 25 in two locations — the Agri-Exposition Center in Clinton and Dorman Chevrolet in Roseboro.

Held every year, the fish fry, which gets under way tomorrow at 11 a.m., is one of the most anticipated and enjoyed events that takes place in Sampson County. And it’s one of the most beneficial, in terms of the money raised and how that money is used year after year.

Last year, for example, the local Shriners’ group raised around $12,000, money that was given to the Shriners Hospital for Children for use in a variety of ways.

According to the Shriners’ website, Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay.

Support of the local fish fry contributes to those wonderful and much needed causes.

Over the course of 30-plus years, Sampson County residents, through their support of the annual fish fry, have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars for the benefit of those hospitals and the young patients served. In fact, Sampson County residents raise as much if not more money per capita in North Carolina than any other city or county for the Shriners hospitals. That is to the credit of each person who has ever bought a plate of fish from this wonderful group of individuals.

And the support does a lot of good at those hospitals throughout this great counry.

According to the Shriners’ Web site, for over 80 years, the hospitals have been providing some of the best medical care in the world, totally free of charge, to more than 700,000 children from all walks of life, all races and all socio-economic classes.

The facility and what it can do is impressive. Through the years, there have been nearly a million operations performed; over one million braces and prostheses applied; and upwards of 16 million physical therapy treatments provided. And that’s just to name a few of the staggering numbers.

For the patient, many who have to stay for five or more days, and their families, there is no cost of the amazing services provided. That is because of the Shriners and those who support those organizations throughout the country, Canada and Mexico.

It’s to the credit of our local Shriners and those who support its annual fundraising event that so much money is raised every year for such a worthwhile cause. While it’s not the kind of thing any of us want to ever benefit from, knowing that there are places like the Shriners Hospital provides a comfort we seldom think about unless tragedy strikes.

So Wednesday, at lunch or after work, treat yourself, your family, your employees, or all of them, to a plate of fried fish, hushpuppies and slaw and help a great cause at the same time. The lunch time hours run until 2 p.m.; the evening hours are from 4 until 7 p.m. You can drop by the Agri-Exposition Center here in Clinton, or if you’re in the Roseboro area, swing by Dorman Chevrolet.

It’s a great way to support a local organization, and it’s a great way to help a worthy cause.