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Fire department Fish Fry fundraiser celebrates 25 years

Jim Olsen, owner of the Wooden Nickel, will host the annual Fish Fry to raise money for the Elizabethtown and Lewis Fire Departments for the 20 year.

Jim Olsen, owner of the Wooden Nickel, will host the annual Fish Fry to raise money for the Elizabethtown and Lewis Fire Departments for the 20 year. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— The Wooden Nickel will be holding it’s 25 anniversary Fish Fry to benefit the Elizabethtown-Lewis Fire Departments on March 3.

Selling all you can eat fish for the same price as the first event at $5 per person, people will be coming out of the woodworks and meeting up with friends they haven’t seen all year to help neighborhood fire departments, some things haven’t changed.

“When we first started 20 years ago, people would be here until midnight catching up with their neighbors,” owner Jim Olsen said. “We got a long history and it’s a good community event to do something for our fire departments that work so hard for us, we hope people to come.”

The fish fry’s have been arranged for the past 20 years by Olsen. The first five events were arranged by patrons at the bar who did all the work for the events; catching the smelt, cleaning the fish and cooking up the meals for the fry Olsen said. When he and his wife took over the Wooden Nickel, they started handling the event.

“It was going to be dissolved and me and my wife said it’s a good thing we should keep going to support the Elizabethtown and Lewis Fire Departments,” Olsen said.

Some things have changed over time. Instead of frying up smelt from Lake Champlain, the menu will have pollock shipped in to serve to the hungry patrons and there are new faces battering the fish.

Every year the proceeds are divided between the two fire departments. Olsen said last year, the fry raised $4,000. The funds helped the Elizabethtown department build a new kitchen at the station and helped the Lewis station buy a Jaws of Life tool used to free people from a vehicle that cannot be opened after an accident.

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