Cullman Lions Fish and Ham Dinner a roaring success

‘Cullman Lions are the jewel of the Lions Club’

Cullman Lions Chad Eddleman and Jerry Eddleman fry up some fish Saturday at the 2020 Fish and Ham Dinner. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Lions Club on Saturday enjoyed the benefits of a good reputation, good menu, long-standing tradition and beautiful weather for its annual Fish and Ham Dinner at Cullman Middle School. Doors officially opened at 11 a.m.; by 1 p.m. the Lions, Lionesses and high school Leos had served 875 meals, on their way to a total of 1,782 meals by the close of business at 6 p.m.

Event co-chairman Frank Odell told The Tribune, “All the Lions and all the teams and committees, and the Lionesses and the Leos are just making it happen. It’s been very busy, and we’ve been scrambling to keep enough fish cooked; it’s been moving out as fast as we can cook it. It’s been a very, very good day.

“The whole Lions Club gets involved every year, and we do it on a committee basis, so different people have different groups they work with, and then the co-chairs all coordinate the different groups and keep it moving smoothly. 

“It’s like the dining room’s designed a little bit different this year than in the past, so we had to do a little bit of shuffling in the first 30 minutes to make it flow better. But we’ve got that all worked out now. It’s a fun team-building project, and it’s also a fun ‘thank you’ to the community for all that we do for them and all they do for us.”

Lions reported around 1 p.m. that both the lunchroom and drive-through pick-up line had stayed constantly busy since opening. All of Cullman seemed to turn out, along with a few drop-ins from parts farther away. Even U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Sessions came by to spend a little of his last pre-primary Saturday pressing the flesh and demonstrating a taste for the cakes baked by the Lionesses.

Another visitor was Lions International District 34-A (north Alabama) First Vice District Governor Tim Sosebee. Recently home from club business in Canada and departing later this year for more in Singapore (Lions International really is international!), the officer decided to spend his Saturday with the Lions of Cullman. The Tribune asked why.

Said Sosebee, “Cullman Lions are the jewel of the Lions Club. They’re the standard that we all try to live up to. Cullman Lions have 109 members, and they are perhaps most plugged into the community as any club. Our small clubs do a great job, too. The average club size is approximately 18 people- little tiny towns right on the state lines, and they all are plugged into the community in the sense that they work behind the scenes. That’s what Cullman Lions do in a larger city. Everything they do, from the fair to the (Empty) Bowls, to everything, people don’t realize how many things they do for the youth of the community- the Leos, called young Lions- and it’s amazing. It’s always an honor to come here.”

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W.C. Mann