Watten fish fry receives record-breaking support

Sam Odrowski

The Watten Volunteer Fire Department’s annual fish fry returned to Sunny Cove Camp on Friday to raise money for a good cause.
Number are up this year and better than ever before with roughly 540 people coming out to enjoy a fish dinner.
Roughly $7,000 was raised at the event and the proceeds will be used to cover the overhead expenses of the fire department.
Watten fire chief Chad Buist said it’s the largest turnout they’ve ever had and each year they receive an increasing level of support.
Watten firefighter and event organizer Brian Angus agrees and said he couldn’t be happier with the turnout.
“It looks like we have a great crowd again,” said Angus at the fish fry. “And we’ve had a good turnout of volunteers to help us.
“We had about 16 to 18 people come out this morning and get the food ready in the hall and now we have another 16 or so helping us with the fish fry itself,” he lauded.
Those who enjoyed a fried fish meal had the option of sitting in Sunny Cove Camp’s Russel Hall or outside by the water.
“We had outdoor seating for those want to sit out and enjoy the lake view and the surroundings here,” Angus noted.
The fish fry has been held annually for over 20 years and is great for connecting the community together.
“It’s a chance for Watten residents to meet each other,” Angus enthused. “It’s also a chance for our neighbours in Fort Frances to come out as well.”
He said Watten and surrounding residents have been “very solid in their support.”
Each year the Watten fire department strikes a budget of around $10,000 to $12,000 to pay for the fire department’s overhead.
As well, if they have any special projects they try to fundraise a little extra to make them work.
Apart from the fish fry, the other fundraiser that keeps the department afloat is the flea market they hold each June.
At the fish fry, children and adults had the opportunity to receive fire extinguisher training and could extinguish a simulated a fire.
The digital fire extinguisher training system was facilitated by Chapple, Emo, La Vallee and Alberton fire chief and Watten firefighter, Josh Colling.
The digital training system will soon be taught to students across the district once the school year begins.
The Watten Volunteer Fire Department is always looking for fresh face and anyone with an interest in joining is asked to call Buist at 274-9000.
Angus would like to thank all the sponsors, volunteers, and attendees for supporting the department.
He said they are hoping to do the fish fry again next year and he looks forward to putting it into motion.