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April means fish fry season

The Mt. Washington Lions Club's fish fry trailer. Photo: David Strange
Club member Donnie Jessie brings in a generator. Photo: David Strange
Club member Jerry Mudd gets supplies from a storage area in the trailer. Photo: David Strange
Customers place their orders at the Lions Club clubhouse. Photo: Kay Lewis
Photo: David Strange

Local Lions Club turns an idea into a reality 

The Lions Clubs around the country have always been known for their humanitarian work of helping individuals with eye care needs, such as eye screenings and collecting eye glasses for those in need.

The Mt. Washington Lions Club, #14008, has been around since 1948 and not only do they do the usual philanthropy work, but you can also find them raising money by hosting a fish fry at their facility at 810 N. Bardstown Road in Mt. Washington, or at local festivals in the area. 

Fish fries have always been one of the club’s most popular fundraisers, which they have several times a year. They also assist local schools in the Mt. Washington area with their fundraising by hosting fish fries on their behalf.

In the past, when putting on a fish fry, several members would have to spend hours hauling equipment and supplies back and forth from the clubhouse to locations around the community.

Recently, the club rolled out a new custom-designed and all-in-one cooking trailer. This trailer is more than your average cooking trailer—this 26-foot-long trailer is designed for pulling up and setting up for their fish fries in one fluid motion.

The new trailer streamlined and modernized their entire fish fry operation, considering how they were operating before. Now two people can pick up, deliver and set up for a fish fry in about 30 minutes. With the new set up, they have everything they need, with all supplies easily at hand. When they arrive at a location, they are now ready to plug in to the power or hook up the generator to fry fish, french fries and hush puppies.

The idea and plan for the trailer was something that had been in the works for about two years. Lions Club members Donnie Jessie and Scott Vincent were the lead volunteers on the project, each one devoting more than 80 man-hours of their time to the trailer project.

After finding a trailer that met their needs in Georgia, Jessie and Vincent traveled there and brought the trailer back to Mt. Washington to start the process of making it into a food trailer that would not only look good, but a food trailer that would be functional, too.

The design details were carefully thought out. They wanted to make good use of every inch of the trailer, even adding a full-size freezer and two refrigerators to the design. One of the important design details was to make sure it would fit into the club building—and it did, by mere inches.

Several Lions Club members like Kim Jessie, Gary Meredith and Jerry Mudd assisted with the transformation of the blank trailer. A local metal fabricator created metal shelving and custom ductwork, using aluminum to keep the weight of the trailer down.

The club received donations from several businesses in the area to help make their idea of the food trailer a reality. Their names are proudly posted on the outside of the trailer. The club was also able to pay for some of the trailer purchase through their fish fry fundraisers.

“We are passionate about the work we do in the community, and there’s nothing better than giving and no better feeling than being able to help someone in need,” says Jessie.

David Strange, another club member says, “We want to continue to serve the community through the scholarships we offer and by helping with fundraisers and providing eye care through the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation.”

The Mt. Washington Lions Club is a volunteer organization that has served the Bullitt County community for over 70 years. For more information, contact them on their Facebook page.

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