CINCINNATI — The St. William Church community in West Price Hill has experienced more than a couple ups and downs within the past 12 months.
"We had the hottest summer for our festival this past year," said Jessica Young, the fundraising organizer for St. William.
Temperatures each day of the festival held July 19-21 went above 90 degrees. The heat meant fewer people showed up for the festival held on the asphalt parking lot of St. William's parish school, Young said.
The St. William community then rallied around the church in November through a new fundraising event.
"We were very grateful for that. All of our community pulled together for our Evening of Elegance," Young said.
Then came March and St. William's annual six weeks of Friday fish fries during Lent.
"Everyone looks forward to spend every Friday night up here during Lent and just being able to enjoy the community and the company," Young said.
Young and her team of volunteers were able to host two full-service Friday fish fries and one drive-thru-only Friday fish fry before the coronavirus pandemic prematurely ended the fish fry season.
"A lot of our volunteers and our community were devastated," Young said.
Devastated but not deterred.
When Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine began announcing measures to reopen the state for business in May, Young and her team went to work on salvaging the fish fry season that ended too soon.
From 4-8 p.m. today, Friday, May 8, and again next Friday, May 15, St. William is hosting two special drive-thru fish fries.
"We can't bring our full community together like we always do and have it inside, but we can at least bring the drive-thru back," Young said.
A small team of two to three volunteers plan to be clad in masks, gloves and standing 6 feet apart at all time as they take orders and deliver them to people sitting curbside in their cars.
"We have most of our famous foods that we always have," Young said.
Offerings included crab cakes, three-piece fried fish and baked goods.
Young said she hopes the drive-thru fish fries provide something more than good food for St. William parishioners as well.
"Being told it's done, it's over with, is a little hard," she said of this year's canceled fish fry season. "So, we're trying to bring it back and bring a little happiness and joy to the church."
Learn more about St. William's drive-thru fish fries by visiting St. William's Facebook page.