Fish Fry to raise funds for forestry project

The Cape Coral Kiwanis Club’s Environmental Committee is hosting a Fish Fry to help raise funds for and awareness of a local tree planting project.

The event, sponsored by Five Guys Burgers and Fries, will run from 4-8 p.m. Sunday at the Cape Coral Kiwanis Hall. Volunteers will serve up whitefish with authentic Five Guys fries, and children can pick from fish sticks or hot dogs.

The cost is $12 for adults, and children ages 12 and under are $6.

Payment will be accepted at the door via cash or check.

All of the proceeds raised will benefit the Urban Forestry project.

“It’s Earth Day, and the goal of the environmental committee is to make people more aware of sustainability and keeping a good environment locally,” Russ Ringland, chairman of the committee and tree planting project, said.

“This is a way to raise a little money and socialize,” he said, adding that it also introduces people to the new Kiwanis building. “It’s the perfect venue.”

Anyone who wants to help volunteer Sunday simply needs to show up.

The Urban Forestry project began in 2004. At the start of the rainy season every year, a couple hundred trees – usually about 200 – are planted along Veterans Parkway by volunteers. More than 7,000 trees have been planted.

“It’s a very simple goal,” Ringland said. “To line Veterans Memorial Parkway on both sides with trees, so that will change the look and the feel of the city when you drive into it.”

“It makes for a higher quality community, and there’s a big environmental aspect,” he said.

This year, volunteers will plant trees on the first and third Saturday in June. About 50 people are needed to help with the planting, which usually runs from 9-11 a.m. Ringland did not know Thursday how many trees would be planted.

“We will be doing more this year to get them in at a good time,” he said, adding that volunteers afterward have a “connection to the community.”

“It’s very gratifying because they get to see their results for years and years,” Ringland said.

Dan Beaulieu, owner of the Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchise in Lee County, explained that his management team wanted to get more involved in the community than simply handing out gift cards, hence the sponsorship.

The team will be helping Sunday by working the fryers at the Fish Fry, and they are already signed up to lend a hand in June with the tree plantings.

“I think it’s a good thing to do. Cape Coral needs more trees, that’s for sure,” Beaulieu said, adding that it will be nice when the trees are grown.

The Cape Coral Kiwanis Hall is at 360 Santa Barbara Blvd.

For more information about the Fish Fry or the Urban Forestry project, contact Russ Ringland at (239) 980-7711.

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