Social distancing… and distancing: Long line for drive-through fundraiser

Julie Beers wears a mask, gloves (and rabbit ears) to help Garland Volunteer Fire Department at its drive-through Good Friday Fish Fry.

People are willing to sacrifice and do the right thing in terms of social distancing.

At the same time, they are willing to participate in a worthy cause.

Garland Volunteer Fire Department held its annual Good Friday Fish Fry on Friday.

“It’s one of our major events,” President Ron Hodak said. “We’ve been doing it for 30 to 35 years. We didn’t want to cancel. Everybody enjoys coming here.”

They had seen a news report about a department in Erie County holding a drive-through event. So, about 20 members of the department got out their gloves and masks and went to work.

They had high hopes and were ready to prepare 180 to 185 dinners — the same as any other year.

Cooks wearing gloves and masks prepared the food. Customers were lined up well before the scheduled 5 p.m. start time, so dinners started moving.

Each dinner was moved from the kitchen to the door.

“They drive up to the door and we take it out to them,” Hodak said. “The servers have sanitary gloves and face masks.”

The line of cars wrapped around the building and some people were waiting for an hour-and-a-half, Hodak said. At about 6:30, with an hour left, “We’re looking at 150 and we still have cars lined up.”

Compared to a normal year in which people can eat in the fire hall and visit, there was no drop-off.

“We’re about at our limit,” Hodak said.

He was hoping to sell every dinner, but not disappoint too many folks who waited.

“We’ve been overwhelmed,” Hodak said. “We really appreciate it.”


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