CRBI’s Cat­fish Kissin’ con­test is heat­ing up

The fish will hit the oil this Satur­day for the 17th an­nual fish fry.

Rome News-Tribune - - NEWS -

With just two days left be­fore the whiskered smooching, com­pe­ti­tion in the Coosa River Basin Ini­tia­tive’s Cat­fish Kissin’ con­test is get­ting in­tense.

Ge­or­gia High­lands Col­lege com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­fes­sor Erica Simp­son leads the fundrais­ing con­test with $1,070 raised. Brad Reeder, as­sis­tant vice pres­i­dent for fi­nan­cial ser­vices at Berry Col­lege, is in sec­ond with $450, and per­sonal trainer Kristy Agan is close be­hind in third with $405 gen­er­ated to help pro­tect the Coosa River.

Eight other con­tes­tants are vy­ing for the “op­por­tu­nity” to kiss a Coosa River cat­fish dur­ing CRBI’s an­nual Fish Fry and Cat­fish Kissin’ con­test set for this Satur­day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rome First United Methodist Church.

Tick­ets for the meal are $10 each or $7 for small fries and in­clude U.S. farm-raised cat­fish fil­lets, hush­pup­pies, coleslaw and cheese grits.

In the Cat­fish Kissin’ con­test, the top three fundrais­ers and the “bot­tom feeder” (the con­tes­tant that raises the least money) kiss a live cat­fish. The kiss­ing takes place at 1:30 p.m.

This year’s Fish Fry will fea­ture live mu­sic from the Bar­baric Yawps and a silent auc­tion to sup­port CRBI river pro­tec­tion projects.

Oth­ers vy­ing for the chance to kiss the fish in­clude Andy Lester, bar­tender at River Dog Out­post; John Gra­ham, bi­ol­ogy pro­fes­sor at Berry Col­lege, Melissa Rut­ledge, graphic artist and founder of Knit­terati Rome; James Los­sick, owner of Cedar Creek Park RV & Out­door Cen­ter in Cave Spring; Trent Prault, Harbin Clinic vas­cu­lar sur­geon and Rome City Brew­ing Co. brew­mas­ter; Thun­der Pi­nard, a lo­cal Navajo and restau­rant en­ter­tainer; Austen Earp, mu­si­cian and mu­si­cal pro­ducer; and Al­li­son Terry, hair stylist at Wiyanna’s Sa­lon.

Sup­port­ers can make do­na­tions on­line on be­half of Cat­fish Kissin’ con­tes­tants at or do­nate in per­son at the Fish Fry. Fish Fry tick­ets may also be pur­chased at that web­site and at the fol­low­ing lo­ca­tions: Kroger in Rome, Laven­der Moun­tain Hard­ware in Ar­muchee, Cedar Creek Park in Cave Spring and CRBI’s of­fice at 5 Broad St.

Also, at the event, CRBI will an­nounce the win­ner of a new kayak in the Cedar Creek Park RV and Out­door Cen­ter raf­fle. Tick­ets are avail­able at CRBI and will be sold at the fish fry.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Jesse De­mon­breun-Chap­man at 706-232-2724 or email at fish­

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