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Churches thrive on Lenten fish dinners

Local News
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Friday was the first Friday of Lent and that meant a busy day at many Valley churches.

Anyone looking for a traditional fish fry should look no further than St. Brendan’s Church on Youngstown’s west side. There is plenty to eat in or take out.

“The church has been doing it for a lot of years. I would say at least 20 to 25 years,” said Donna Mraz, a volunteer at St. Brendan’s.

The homemade lunch and dinner meals help raise money to support the church on Oakwood Avenue.

“It’s a very good, successful fundraiser. As you see, we have a lot of great people that help every year,” Mraz said. “We are trying to recruit some younger people though.”

There also is the Greek seafood feast at St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church in Boardman.

“We have got a spanikopita roll-up, which is fish with spanikopita mixed in and it is rolled in filo dough and baked off,” volunteer Greg Giannios said.

That is one of the many different, yet delicious, items on the dinner menu.

“Then over there, we are doing seafood pistezo,” Giannios said. “It’s got noodles, it’s got fish, it’s got scallops, shrimp, and it’s with a cream sauce with an alfredo sauce mixed inside.”

Giannios said all the hard work is well worth it.

“There is about four or five of us that travel all the churches,” Giannios said. “We all work together because we want to keep a nice Greek community together.”

And of course, there also is pierogies. Liz Magee of New Middletown showed First News reporter Greta Mitterder how to make St. Paul’s popular handmade dumplings.

“We made 350 dozen pierogies today, 225 potato, 75 cabbage and 50 cottage cheese,” St. Paul’s volunteer Gerald Genarro said.

He said sales are up and that is good because it is the church’s biggest fundraiser.

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