People are enjoying the fish and showing support.By Paul Martino

NORTH BRADDOCK, Pa. (KDKA) — Friday is the last day for Lenten fish fry dinners.

They are lifelines for organizations like church groups and fire departments. The funding keeps the doors open, including at the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Department.

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“Without the private donations and fundraisers, we would not be able to operate the department and have the equipment necessary to respond to emergencies in our community,” said Mike Daniher, the assistant chief of the Sharpsburg VFD.

Last year, Sharpsburg’s fish fry and all other fundraisers were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The department relied on help from the borough for funding.

“Normally, we would participate in our town-wide community open streets. That was canceled this year. Our fish fry was canceled last year. Our fund drive that we mailed to individuals is down because people are laid off,” Daniher said.

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It is the same story in North Braddock, where the fire department dipped into its savings to keep the doors open.

“We were closed down, and everything else that’s made money for the department was closed down,” said North Braddock Mayor Albert Senic. “Our club was closed down so we didn’t have any income whatsoever.”

While this year’s fish fry dinners are limited to carry out, it appears the community is still coming through. They’re enjoying the fish and supporting the firefighters.

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That means volunteer fire departments can continue to protect their communities.