The Athens Odd Fellow Lodge 961 and Athens Rebekah Lodge 23 will host a fish fry fundraiser on May 18.
The organizations “have been awarding eight $500 scholarships each year since 1992,” according to a press release. “When we first developed our scholarship program, we were having bingo twice a week and could very well afford it as our players were faithful to us.”
When the bingo program ended, it placed a financial strain on the lodges, the press release shows.
“Things have started getting a little tight for us. So, we have decided to try having a fish fry — maybe twice a year — to see if we can have some success with it.”
Trinity Valley Community College President Dr. Jerry King is the guest of honor.
“We have also invited Rich Flowers of the Athens Daily Review.”
The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until the lodges run out of food, at 1301 W. Cayuga Drive.
“The lodges have an extensive history within the Athens community, spanning over a century,” according to the press release. “The Athens Odd Fellow Lodge was instituted by the Grand Lodge I.O.O.F. (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) of Texas on Sept. 26, 1917, and has been an active, working lodge ever since.”
As part of their charitable work, the Athens lodges donate to food pantries in Henderson and Van Zandt counties.
“Each Thanksgiving, the lodges donate 40 turkeys to (The Food Pantry) to help them with their Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners for the people in need. We would very much like to continue doing things for our community and with the help of the (residents) of Athens and Henderson County, we will be able to do so.”
The Athens Odd Fellow Lodge 961 turned 100 a year ago.
In the press release, lodge members thanked Prosperity Bank, First State Bank and Citizens State Bank for helping with advance ticket sales. Tickets are $9 per plate. The menu includes catfish, hush puppies, French fries, pinto beans, cole slaw, dessert and iced tea.