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Holy catfish! 400 pounds of fish ordered for 10th church event


Levi and Elmina Lee’s grandson, Tyler Lee, frying fish at Sonnenberg Mennonite Church’s 2019 Mississippi Catfish Fry.

John Yoder, Darin Nissley and Dave Geiser breading fish at the 2019 event.

KIDRON  Sonnenberg Mennonite Church has made modifications to its Mississippi Catfish Fry for health and safety reasons because of the pandemic.

The event is expected to be just as popular as usual – they have ordered 400 pounds of fish this year and have had a steady increase over the years – but the dinner will be drive thru and carryout only.

In its 10th year, the Catfish Fry will be 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5 at Sonnenberg Mennonite Church, 14367 Hackett Road, Kidron. The fish fry continues to be a fundraiser for mission projects for the church.

Every year for the past decade, Levi and Elmina Lee have traveled up from Mississippi, said Ken Neuenschwander, chairman of outreach and service ministry.
The tradition began thanks to a connection stemming from church members. Elmina Lee’s sister, Marilyn Shetler, and her husband, Ora, are members at Sonnenberg, Neuenschwander explained.

Last year, the Lees brought their grandson, Tyler, along from Mississippi, and the Yoders also from Mississippi, were visiting in the area and offered to help as well.

A group of fish farmers is around the Lees, as well as a large processing plant so the fish may or may not be from the Lees’ farm, but they can guarantee they’re fresh, Neuenschwander said.

“Levi likes to say: ‘These fish were swimming on Wednesday,” Neuenschwander said.

The menu includes Mississippi catfish, hush puppies, pickles, chips, apple sauce, and cookies/bars. Bottled water is available.

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