By Emily Banks Wooten
Polk County Cares is working hard to make its July 2 Fish Fry fundraiser every bit as successful as its February crawfish/shrimp boil which grossed over $83,000 to assist local non-profits in Polk County. The fish fry is slated for 6-8 p.m. July 2 at Hands-On Realty which is located at 125 Indian Hills Blvd. at the end of FM 2457 which is also known as “Old 190.” The to-go meals will be served by Scott and Todd Hughes of the original Hughes Catfish restaurant. For $15, one will receive a plate of fresh-caught, American catfish, homemade French fries, coleslaw, Mrs. Hughes’ famous hushpuppies and a drink.
Polk County Cares is a 501(c)3 organization that puts community donations to work in the community. Its purpose is to raise funds to be distributed to qualifying non-profit organizations within Polk County. Toni Cochran Hughes and husband Scott Hughes created the organization together in 2021. It’s actually a labor of love that’s been 10 years in the making, raising about $500,000 over the course of those 10 years.
Toni serves as president of the board of directors of Polk County Cares and Scott is a director, along with Vice President Yana Ogletree, Secretary Becca Dillon, Treasurer Scott Smith, and Directors Solita Collard, Cheryl Downing, Sandi Karnes and Stephen Moye.
Following the super successful crawfish/shrimp boil in February, board members presented checks to F.A.I.T.H. Military Support Group and Center of Hope Cancer Support, with each organization receiving a check for $30,855.33.
“Scott and I have wanted to help local charities. We formed Polk County Cares so we could partner with the community to support the local charities,” Toni said. “We look forward to learning more about the local non-profit organizations and understanding how we can help make a positive impact within the Polk County communities.
“We’re working on the website. It will be up soon and will have a list of our charities,” Toni said. Until then, Polk County Cares has a Facebook page that may be liked and followed. For additional information call Polk County Cares at 409-268-6804.