Evelyn Springs to host Autism Speaks fish fry Saturday

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Fundraiser is 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Fairway Room

By Greg Summers

When Evelyn Springs announced in August that the Autism Speaks fundraiser, Lancaster Cooks 2010 – Look Who’s Cooking, had been postponed, she vowed not to sit on her laurels.

The feisty, take-no-for-an-answer-grandmother is proving to be good to her word.

Springs – who continues to fight autism – the disease that is effects the daily life of her 8-year-old grandson, Mailk, is now casting her bread upon the waters with a fishing net.

Springs will host the “Big Fish Dinner” fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Fairway Room, 1886 Spring Club (Lancaster Golf Course).

“I just couldn’t sit still,” Springs said. “I had to do something. My conscience is killing me.”

Fish plates are $6 each (eat in or carry out) and include a choice of salt and pepper catfish, flounder, perch or croaker, along with slaw, baked beans, hushpuppies and tea or lemonade. Fish sandwiches are $3.50 each.

Delivery is available for five plates or more by calling (803) 287-2578 or (803) 286-2119.

Springs said homemade cakes will be custom baked ahead of time by placing an order.

“This is our first time for trying something like this so we don’t know what to expect,” Springs said. “We haven’t set a goal and are just reaching out in faith.”         

Lancaster Cooks was scheduled for Sept. 28.

Springs has hosted the annual fundraiser, which features dishes prepared by some of the area’s top cooks, an auction and a silent auction, for about five years.

It normally draws more than 250 supporters, but after this year’s ticket sales lagged, Springs opted to postpone the event rather than see rows of empty tables in the Fairway Room.     

“A lot of folks are going through tough times, so we understand,” she said in a previous interview.

According to Autism Speaks, autism receives less than 5 percent of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.

It’s the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States.

A new case is diagnosed almost every 20 minutes. Right now, one in every 150 children born in the United States is diagnosed with some form of autism.

All the proceeds from the Big Fish Dinner on Saturday will be turned in at the 2010 Walk Now for Autism Speaks  at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 9.

“We’re still gonna be walking that day,” she said.

Springs said anyone who wants to make a tax-deductible donation to Autism Speaks can call her at (803) 287-2578 or mail donations to Autism Speaks c/o Evelyn Springs, P.O. Box 393, Lancaster, SC 29721.