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The Marble Falls Area EMS fish fry fundraiser is on the menu at Blue Bonnet Cafe, 211 U.S. 281, from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6. You can dine in or carry out. Curbside service is available. 

The fried catfish meals complete with sides are $10 for ages 6 and older and $5 for ages 5 and younger — cash and check only. All proceeds go to the Marble Falls Area EMS.

“We have 39 staff members that are constantly training and taking continuing education, and that’s what this fundraiser goes to support,” said Marble Falls Area EMS Director Johnny Campbell. 

The fish fry brings together two long-running area institutions for a good cause. Blue Bonnet Cafe first opened in 1929, making it one of the oldest restaurants and businesses in the Highland Lakes. The Marble Falls Area EMS started in 1976, and is one of the longest-operating nonprofits in the area.

The late John Kemper and his wife, Belinda, began hosting the fish fry fundraisers twice a year — once in March and again in October — about 35 years ago. During the four-hour event, the cafe switches from its regular menu to catfish only. Proceeds have always gone to the EMS; the restaurant takes no money from the fundraiser.

John Kemper died May 14, 2020, but the tradition lives on. 

“Belinda, (their son-in law) David, and (their daughter) Lindsay (Plante) are carrying it on, and we’re so grateful to them and for all the years Belinda and John did it for us,” Campbell said. 

The fish fry is a beloved community event, he said.

“There are a lot of people who their only interaction with us is every six months for this,” he said. “People look forward to it as a chance to see us, and we get to see them as well.”

Local elected and community leaders also lend a hand bussing tables, sweeping the floors, and tending to other tasks as necessary.

“It’s a fun event,” Campbell added. “So, come on out, have some great food, and meet us as well.”

For to-go or curbside orders, call 830-693-2444 or 830-693-2344.