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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Paula TredwayCalifornia Nutrition Center volunteers serve the community in a curbside pickup fish fry. The Nutrition Center ended up raising around $2,700 during the event.

The California Nutrition Center held a curbside fish fry fundraiser Saturday.

The Nutrition Center does three to four fish fry fundraisers a year because it's a popular event, and people who attend like the food, center administrator Kim Drummond said.

"And since we can't do it in the traditional way where people come here to eat and do the buffet, we decided to do a curbside fish fry fundraiser," Drummond said. "We're always having to raise funds because we have to raise about $40,000 a year for our local costs. So since we've been closed since March we haven't been doing our fundraisers or dances or fun nights where we do get some income that helps with operating the place. We found out we could do one of these and said why not."

The curbside fundraiser was a hit with the California community and a great way for everyone to safely get out to visit with each other.

"We thought it would be a good thing for us and the community, and they're usually very well-attended," Drummond said. "And I think not having the indoor activities and doing the curbside meals keeps us in touch with our senior population. A lot of them have said 'I just want to get out and do something.'"

In the end, the Nutrition Center ended up raising around $2,700 with about 270 people who came through for the event.

"We appreciated the outpouring of support, and we received great reviews on the fish," Drummond said.

Although she's uncertain when the Nutrition Center will fully open, Drummond said curbside meals and fundraisers will continue to keep things running.

"My guess is we'll open during the third phase of the governor's (reopening) plan. but I work for Aging Best out of Columbia, they tell us when that's going to be," Drummond said. "Not sure, but we will just carry on until we can. We rely on donations from businesses and individuals, too. This curbside service is keeping up with our regular service, but I know we won't be able to continue this when we reopen because we got special permission during the pandemic."

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