People who pull up to the Wayne Shrine Club Fish Fry today won't see all of the work that went into getting ready for the event that has been a Wayne County tradition for more than 50 years.

But that is fine by Shriner George Raecher just as long as the community continues to support the event that benefits the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Shriners and volunteers were busy Thursday afternoon setting up tents, flouring tables and the cooker.

The fish were to be delivered by about 7 a.m. today.

The fish fry will be held in Mount Olive and Goldsboro.

Eat-in plates will be available at the Herman Park Center on East Ash Street where the meal includes tea. Desserts will be sold by the Shrinettes as a fundraiser.

The drive-through will be in Herman Park.

The Mount Olive location is drive-through only and will be located next to Roberts Machine Shop on N.C. 55 just west of North Breazeale Avenue.

Tickets are $8 and are tax deductible.

For that $8 you get potato salad, cole slaw, two pieces of whiting and some hushpuppies, said Raecher, who has chaired the project for 16 years.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and supper from 4 to 7 p.m. in both Goldsboro and Mount Olive.

Advance ticket sales have gone well, and tickets can be purchased today in Mount Olive and Goldsboro.

All net proceeds will go to the Shriners Hospitals that provide medical care for children 18 and younger without consideration of ability to pay.

"The Wayne Shrine Club has raised probably with this type fish fry, since I have been doing it, probably more than $300,000 altogether," Raecher said. "Citizens really go to bat for us to raise that money.

"Of course we are losing membership like any civic organization. So it gets harder to work every year, but we are going to keep on doing it."

Raecher expects the club will raise about $20,000 today.

A person does not have to be referred to one of the hospitals by a Shriner. Instead all a person has to do is call toll free 1-800-237-5055

"We have about 25 to 28 patients from the Wayne County area," he said. "Some are active patients, some are follow-up. Sudan has about 540 some total in our jurisdiction. We have patients going to Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Greenville, South Carolina."