Bail-Out Fish Fry funds Lonsdale's fireworks

Jail birds were singing for their supper on Friday, March 8, at the Lonsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Fireworks Fish Fry held at the Lonsdale American Legion. Above, Lonsdale's Most Wanted (from left) Matthew Brennan, Terinee Stangler, Geralyn Sticha, Roger Gagner, D.J. and Emcee Billy K., Carl Turner and Bonnie Simon sang for the crowds in an effort to raise bail donations. (Lori Nickel Photo)

 

The fish fry held Friday, March 8, at the Lonsdale American Legion was much more than just dinner. Twelve well known community members volunteered to have Most Wanted posters with their faces on them hung around town leading up to the event. They were then "arrested" and put into a makeshift jail throughout the evening during the dinner. The Most Wanted were Lonsdale Telephone Company and Video Ventures staff, Lisa Reichelt, Alan Fitterer, Melissa Barnett, Terinee Stangler, Shannon Morsching, Rev. Ron Mixer, Dan Pumper, Fritz Duban, Phil Tisdel, Dan Hardel and Karmin Stanley. To be released, they each needed to post bail (a donation) of $500.

Lonsdale Area Chamber of Commerce organizers are calling the annual Bail-Out a huge success as $8,500 was raised to support the July 3rd fireworks display. Board member Jared Langhoff explained how there were many "firsts" to this year's fund raiser. 

"It was the first year karaoke was offered, thanks to Billy K.," he said. "And thanks to Lonsdale Telephone and Video Ventures, the event was shown live on television so viewers had the option to call-in donations, which brought in a couple hundred dollars." 

When the evening wrapped up, 350 dinners were sold and the Most Wanted participants were successful at raising their bail donations, all while providing entertainment for the crowd of diners. Some of the Most Wanted sang, one sold meat raffle tickets, one gave cookies to donors, and one auctioned off jewelry to raise the needed bail amount. 

Langhoff said that the fund raiser was so successful because of the great community support. 

"Not only did the Chamber Board and several members contribute, but many others in our community did as well," he said. "The Lonsdale Lions, The American Legion (especially cooks Sandy, Vanessa and Karen), the Lonsdale Fire Department, the Boy Scouts, Lonsdale Ambassadors, Mayor Tim Rud and other Lonsdale supporters were instrumental in keeping things running smoothly and making sure everything was taken care of. In addition, the 12 Lonsdale Most Wanted participants did an outstanding job raising bail money."

Langhoff finished by saying Lonsdale will certainly have a spectacular July 3rd Fireworks show this summer.