Amish fish fry to support fire department

By Kathy Chaffin -

HAMPTONVILLE — Next Friday’s fish fry to raise money for the Buck Shoals Volunteer Fire Department is the Amish community’s way of saying “thank you” to the firefighters for all the hours and work they put into it.

Dale Mast, owner of Mast Woodworks, said the Amish families have had the fire department respond to several fires and medical emergencies over the years since they first began locating there 26 years ago. “And we just felt the need to do something in appreciation to show the fire department that we care what they do,” he said.

The fish fry will be held at the fire department, located at 6100 Windsor Road, from 4 to 8 p.m. Plates, which will be sold on a donation basis, will be served with rice, slaw and hush puppies.

John Hostetler, who owns the Wholesome Country Creamery next to the fire department, said members of the Amish community will be doing all the cooking, including preparing the breading for the fish and hush puppies. “We make everything from scratch,” he said.

“All you can eat” will be for dine-in only. Plates also will be available for carry out.

Hostetler said a variety of flavors of homemade ice cream from the Wholesome Creamery also will be available for people who eat there.

This is the third fish fry to be sponsored by the Amish community. The first two were held two years ago, within a month of each other, to help raise money to rebuild Hostetler’s barn, which burned in a fire on April 13, 2013.

“We had a great turnout,” Mast said. The first night, about 1,200 people turned out, he said, and the second night, around 1,500. “This one is totally different in that all the proceeds will benefit the fire department.”

Hostetler said the firefighters did a great job responding to his family’s barn fire, managing to keep it from spreading to other buildings. “They were all here to help control it,” he said. “This is our way of trying to reimburse the fire department for what they did for us.

“And the whole community pitched in on the rebuilding of the barn,” Hostetler said. “We had help from our other neighbors, too, not just the Amish.”

All of the Buck Shoals firefighters, including the chief, are volunteers. Hostetler, who lives next door to the fire department and sees the volunteers going in and out, said many people do not realize the number of hours they put in and the amount of money it takes to keep the department going.

Mast said the Amish families have felt very accepted by everyone in the community. “They have been a real blessing to us,” he said.

Next Friday’s fish fry is a way of not only expressing gratitude to the fire department, Mast said. “It’s a way to be at peace with all man, and give thanks to the Lord for everything.

“That’s my motto.”

Kathy Chaffin can be reached at 336-258-4058.

By Kathy Chaffin

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