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Senior center fries fish to show thanks to community

Nothing shows community appreciation in Gulf County like fried fish.

So, on Friday, volunteers and employees gathered at the Port St. Joe Senior Citizens Center to make a large batch to take out to members of the community who have shown them support over the last year or so.

“We’re doing this for everyone who donated funds over the year. We figure we want to give back, so we’re making them some fish, letting them enjoy themselves and letting them know that we appreciate all that they have done for us,” said Eddie Fields, the director of the Gulf County Senior Citizens Association.

Gene Hanlon and Clay Parker arrived early that morning to cook the fish, provided by Raffield’s Fishery, and volunteers prepared potato salad, baked beans and other side dishes in the senior center’s kitchen.

More than 50 meals were prepared and delivered to local businesses, individuals and organizations who Fields said provided significant donations to the association.

“That’s what helps keep the center going,” he said. “We were in a little bit of a rough spot there for a period, but now I think we’re better off, and we’ve obtained a lot of help.”

“Most of the funding goes towards transportation and meals, whether seniors come in and sit here to eat or home delivered meals, and then we try to take field trips, just so the seniors have something to look forward to and it’s not the same thing every day.”

Fried fish meals were also prepared for the senior citizens who came to the center Friday, who gathered at the center’s tables and caught up with each other.

The GCSCA operates both senior centers in Gulf County — the one in Port St. Joe and the one in Wewahitchka.

For more information about the GCSCA and their services, please call (850) 229-8466 for Port St. Joe or 850-639-9910 for Wewahitchka or stop by either location.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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