Luther Smith wins Rotary Fish Fry truck


Fish Fry event draws record crowd

NORTH SHORE – North Shore Rotarians held their 48th Annual Catfish Fry & Crawfish Boil last Saturday at the Rotary Pavilion on Wallisville Road, and it was a roaring success.

Over 500 persons turned out for great food, silent and live auctions of unique items, a raffle with 20 valuable prizes including a new 2023 Toyota vehicle, and lots of socializing with old and new friends in the Rotary and North Channel area.

The crowd stayed to the end of the afternoon, because the raffle prizes are the very last activity of the day, and anticipation of who will win the new vehicle grows, as each ticket is pulled from the rotating bin. This year the winner was Luther Smith, and the winning ticket was sold by his friend Rotarian Lowell Everitt. Smith and his wife Christina were present for the drawing, and were able to pose for a picture with the new Toyota Tacoma truck. They will have an opportunity to work with the dealer, Community Toyota in Baytown, to finalize the actual model and trim details of the vehicle they will drive home.

Each year the president elect of the Rotary club serves as the chairman of the Fish Fry, and this year it was Lee Brown, principal of Goose Creek Cloverleaf Elementary school. Brown had the support of the whole club, including the president Ken Wimbley, to make this year a great success.

Money raised in this Fish Fry is used all year for community projects, scholarships, Rotary International projects, and other Rotary activities benefitting the North Shore/Channelview community. The club usually makes about $300,000 from this event, which is the main fund raiser for the year. The club has returned millions of dollars to the community over the years.

In addition to tickets sales for the raffle and food, funds come from sponsors. Major sponsors this year were the Mulloy Family Foundation, and Education Foundations from Sheldon ISD, Channelview ISD, Galena Park ISD, and San Jacinto College. Also, Community Toyota was a named sponsor. There were about 30 other named sponsors.

The live auction included some unusual items, which buyers vied for with great interest. These included popular quilts handmade by Connie Russell (a Highlands Rotarian), Astros and Texans game tickets, fishing trip, two night hotel stay in College Station, shot gun, dinner package at Killens, autographed jerseys and bats by sports stars, hunting trip at Diamond R Ranch, fishing trip package, custom made FFA projects, souvenir flags, HoustonRodeo tickets, golf packages, framed historical maps, unique signs, sides of beef and pork, and finally a huge fireworks package.

Auctioneers for the live auction were Bill Busby and Scott Stephens, who did a great job with the help of spotters, North Shore football players, and Interact club members.