Alex Schlee | Staff Writer | 2-28-2012
This will be the team’s first year making the pilgrimage to Florida for spring training, where they will stay for 12 days, playing two games a day to warm up for the regular season.
It is a year of many firsts for the BSU softball team. This year will be their first with new coach Rick Supinski, who will be the one bringing the team to Florida, and who headed up Friday’s fish fry.
“We need more funding,” said Supinski. “This [fundraiser] seemed like a good way to bring softball into the community.”
This year’s fundraiser was the first time the team has tried a fundraiser of this magnitude. They have done benefits in the past, but this year they extended the notion in hopes of generating more income.
“This is the year we’ve done the most to raise money,” said Courtney Loegering, one the team’s three captains.
Before the dinner, the team sold 160 tickets to Bemidji’s community members. Tickets were also sold at the door for anyone who wished to attend, but never managed to get hold of a ticket ahead of time. Loegering hoped for around 200 guests to attend the event.
Depending on the success of Friday’s dinner, the team plans on making this fish fry an annual fundraising event. The idea for this kind of event was inspired by other teams in the area. Many high school softball teams have been doing fish fries to gain support for years, and BSU’s team saw this as a great idea. In total, they are hoping to raise $1,500 for their trip to Florida.
The dinner wasn’t served until 5 p.m., but the team showed up ahead of time to set up the dining room, lay out their desserts, and prepare the food.
The meal consisted of a sizable cut of fish, a baked potato, corn, and a roll with an optional bowl of coleslaw and a glass of water. According to the team, the fish prepared for the meal was swai, a species from Vietnam. Butter and tartar sauce were set out on each table for guests to apply as they wished. In addition to the fish served at the dinner, the team members brought an assortment of desserts and home-made sweets.
The dinner lasted until around 7 p.m. It drew in an assortment of Bemidji community members ranging from senior citizens to young families to BSU students looking for a meal not prepared by Walnut Hall’s dining staff.