While many firefighters and volunteer groups have canceled their Lenten fish fries this year due to soaring costs, the tradition of fish fries continues at the Leechburg Volunteer Fire Company.
Customers streamed inside the fire station at a brisk pace Friday night as more than 10 volunteers busied themselves cooking, preparing and packing fried fish sandwiches, shrimp and chicken.
Leechburg VFC has been serving Leechburg for over 131 years.
Self-funded through direct donations, the annual fry is an essential fundraiser for the company.
The company launched a fundraising campaign in 2022 to raise funds for a new fire truck slated for delivery in September. The cost of the new engine is $377,000.
The Leechburg Fire Company met 90% of the cost through ongoing fundraisers.
Supply chain issues have affected fundraisers, company officials said, and Leechburg organizers expressed their thanks to the public for supporting the fry.
“Your donation is greatly appreciated,” said long-time volunteer Melissa Aller of Leechburg.
April Smith, 32, is a new fish fry volunteer this season of Lent.
Smith is deaf but reads lips, and she’s settled in, learning the ropes of frying fish and helping pack nearly 300 fish sandwiches in the past week.
“I love helping everyone and being around people,” Smith said.
Customers can dine in or take out food. Delivery is available.
Fish fry operates from 3-7 p.m. every Friday until Lent.
The Leechburg Volunteer Fire Company is located at 268 Canal Street.