CRBI Fish Fry

In this File photo CRBI volunteer Ben Harrison fries up U.S. farm-raised catfish fillets.

Two mainstays that involve buying some delicious food for good causes are coming up this Saturday, and if you plan your day right you could even make it to both of them.

The Rome Noon Optimist Club is hosting their 59th annual Pancake Breakfast at the Rome Civic Center on Jackson Hill from 6 a.m. until noon. The Coosa River Basin Initiative’s annual Fish Fry is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 202 E. Third Ave.

The pancake breakfast is an all-you-can-eat meal that includes pancakes and sausage as well as a choice of drink for the dine-in or drive-through service. Tickets are $7 in advance, $8 at the door. They’ll also be selling the sausage for $5 a pound.

The club has set as its goal this year to raise $47,000 from the pancake breakfast. Proceeds fund the club’s youth-related projects in and around Rome.

The proceeds also help to fund youth recognition programs hosted by the club and a dozen local initiatives including Grands Who Care, The Foundation Camp, Summit Quest, Cops for Kids and the Vacation Reading Program at Sara Hightower Library.

To purchase a ticket for the pancake breakfast in advance, contact any Rome Noon Optimist Club member or call 706-234-8686. Tickets are also available during normal business hours at the Last Stop Gift Shop on Jackson Hill using cash or check.

Ever see somebody kiss a catfish?

So far, there’s been a group of people who have been raising money to support the CRBI and, well, to kiss a catfish.

Jimmy Kelly, Thad Mathis, Lee Niedrach, John Schroeder, Kipp Slicker and Mary Hardin Thornton are all out in the community selling tickets in a competition that has the “winner” puckering up.

They’re selling plates of fried farm-raised catfish filets, hushpuppies, coleslaw, and cheese grits as well as drinks and desserts. Tickets are $10 for an adult and $7 for a kids plate. Tickets are available for purchase at the CRBI office at 5 Broad St. or online at

This year’s event will also include live music. Organizers say while the event is held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., all of the real action will take place from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Takeout is available if people don’t have time to hang out but want pick up food.


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