CULLMAN, Ala. – In 1971, the Cullman Lions Club held its first fundraising dinner offering oysters and ham. With 49 years of practice and successful experience, and catfish in place of the oysters, the Lions, Lionesses and their high school Leos are getting ready for another feast.
The 2020 Cullman Lions Club Fish and Ham Dinner will be held this Saturday, Feb. 29 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Cullman Middle School cafeteria. For $10 per plate, diners will get their choice of catfish filet or ham plus baked potato, slaw, hushpuppies, dessert (provided by the Cullman Lionesses) and a drink. Eat in or take home; drive-through pickup will be available on Ninth Street Northeast at the north side of the cafeteria.
Approximately 100 Lions and Lionesses, along with 35-40 Leos, will prepare more than 1,500 dinners, about 60% of which will leave through the drive-through pick-up line.
The event is expected to raise more than $10,000 which, with revenues from the Lions-sponsored Cullman County Fair, will benefit eyesight-related causes like providing eye exams and glasses to needy patients, along with other eye services through the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital and the Alabama Lions Eye Clinic located at that hospital.
The club also supports numerous other local causes. Over just the last few years, Cullman Lions have contributed to:
- Cullman Caring for Kids United Way Food Bank
- Good Samaritan Health Clinic
- Grace Episcopal Church’s Grace Place
- Stiefelmeyer Park
- Field of Miracles
- Cullman Regional Foundation and renovations of Cullman Regional waiting rooms
- Hope Horses, Inc.
- Sponsoring diabetic kids who attend Camp Seale Harris
- Sponsoring high school students who attend Troy University’s youth leadership conference
The Cullman Lions Club has on multiple occasions been named the top local chapter in the state, even more often named the top club in the northern district, and is the largest local chapter in Alabama. It is also the state’s largest supporter of the Alabama Lions Sight project at UAB.
This year’s dinner is being coordinated by Lions Frank Odell and Carrie Thompson.
Odell told The Tribune after last year’s event: “We’re real excited about the Fish and Ham (Dinner). This function’s been going on for about 50 years, every year. And I used to think it was strictly a fundraiser. We only charge $10 a meal as a donation, and catfish is expensive now. But I’ve realized that we raise money for local organizations; we also celebrate Lionism and the fact that we serve where we’re serving the community. The people that choose to eat in, those are a lot of our supporters. We enjoy having them here. We have a very good meal at a reasonable price, so we’re helping out people with that. Some of the Lions donate their tickets for some specifics like, in many years we’ve donated meals to people at Childhaven. But then it’s also a team-building exercise where we’re all under the same roof for a whole day, working in different teams, working together to get as much fish and as much ham produced for the customers as they come in, and try to do a better job every year. It’s always worked out quite well.”
At a glance
2020 Cullman Lions Club Fish and Ham Dinner
Saturday, Feb. 29, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cullman Middle School cafeteria
$10 per plate
Tickets are available from any Cullman Lions or Lioness Club member, The Brandin’ Iron Restaurant, Cullman Veterinary Hospital, Doug Doggett Jewelers, East Side Barber Shop, Ed White Jewelers, Mary Carter Store, Peek Auto Parts and Ponder Wrecker Service.
Tickets can also be purchased at the door the day of the event.
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