Disabled American Veterans have hooked some help putting together this year's walleye fish fry.
Culinary students in Clinton Salapek's class at the Warren County Career Center will be preparing dessert for the annual event.
According to "Grizzly" Gary Wert, who is helping plan the event, it was restaurant owner Frank Chiodo who first enlisted the students' help.
Photo by Jacob Perryman
Warren County Career Center students are preparing cupcakes for Disabled American Veterans Chapter 75’s annual walleye fish fry. (front) Disabled American Veterans State 2nd Junior Vice Commander Walt Simpson and Chapter 75 trustee Mel Kramer. (back) Culinary instructor Clinton Salapek and students (L to R) Gabrielle Ott, Chandler Flinn, Katerina Shaffer, Alesha Bergstrom, Samantha Anthony and (hiding behind Bergstrom) Keeler Kay.
"Frank started the ball rolling here," Wert said.
Once Salapek's aid was secured, the culinary class decided on an appropriate dish; red, white and blue frosted cupcakes: Lots of red, white and blue frosted cupcakes, more than 100 of them.
"It's mainly the morning class that has been working on it," Salapek said. "We're happy to help these guys. My dad is a disabled American veteran also."
"These young folks, they're learning a trade and they're doing something good at the same time," Wert pointed out.
The event will be held at Russell Volunteer Fire Hall on Saturday, Sept. 29. Tickets are available in advance at Grizzly Gary Outdoors, 2009 Pennsylvania Ave. E., or by phone at 726-7475. Wert recommends people buy them in advance, as they've limited the event to 265 tickets.
"We sell out every year," Wert noted. "Ninety-nine percent out of 100 there will not be any tickets at the door."
Tickets are $10 per person.
"These men and women have sacrificed a ton," Wert added. "If you went out to eat, you'd spend 30 or 40 bucks. With this, for ten bucks you get more than you can eat and better entertainment. This is a chance, for just a couple of bucks, to stand up and say thank you."
The meal includes appetizers, entree, french fries, cole slaw and desserts, including the cupcakes.
Bruce "The Mad Man of Magic" Kikula will perform and, according to Wert, he'll be cutting someone's head off. Wert noted suggestions as to whose head were welcome.
Music will be provided by E.J. the D.J. Sound, Inc.
"We appreciate what they're doing," State 2nd Junior Vice Commander for Disabled American Veterans Walt Simpson said. "We appreciate what Gary does. We can't say enough about Gary."
"There's a lot of people doing a lot of work for veterans," Wert said. "We appreciate everybody that helps out... We could go on and on listing people."
Proceeds primarily benefit Disabled American Veterans Chapter 75 transportation programs, which provide transportation to and from medical appointments for disabled and recovering veterans. This year, some proceeds will be going to Wounded Warriors to help fund fishing trips for recovering veterans.
"Thanks to their service, a chubby little angler like me can be on the radio," Wert said. "Thanks to their service we are free."