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Kitchen crew for Soroptimist St. Helena crab feed

The members of Soroptimist International St. Helena served up nearly 1,200 pounds of crab in February 2017 at the Native Sons Hall. At far right is Anna Beard, the club’s secretary and the official “Kitchen Boss,” who has been overseeing the crab feed since she joined the club in 1991.

Tim Carl photo

Soroptimist International of St. Helena will hold its 41st Annual Crab Feed at 6 p.m. both Friday, Feb. 2, and Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Native Sons Hall, 1313 Spring St. The theme is “Vintage Saint Helena: Honoring Our Community in Soroptimist Style,” with a focus on the era from 1954 to 1968.

This year’s event will honor the community with a vintage-themed event that will include retro cocktails, desserts and vintage photographs from the St. Helena Historical Society and imagery harking back to earlier days when Soroptimist was still a young club and the Napa Valley was the stuff of Hollywood films such as “This Earth is Mine” with Rock Hudson (1959), “Pollyanna” (1960) and “Wild in the Valley” with Elvis Presley (1961).

Other photos were generously provided by the St. Helena Fire Department and include photos from the ’50s and ’60s of local parades, brigades and fire trucks.

“Our Vintage St. Helena theme reflects SISH’s unwavering commitment to women and girls in Napa Valley for the last 64 years,” said event co-chair Julie Jenanyan. “This year’s collaboration with the Historical Society is not only an opportunity to honor our longtime sponsors, donors and attendees, but to celebrate our shared history and sense of spirit as a community.”

At the event, SISH will announce its new award. The $3,000 Helping Hand grant will provide financial assistance for educational and vocational training to working mothers who might not otherwise qualify for scholarships. It follows another recently created Soroptimist grant for Preschool for All.

Event co-chairs include Julie Jenanyan, Susan Duryea and Carolyn Duryea.

While the Soroptimists will pay tribute to the town and the patrons who have made Soroptimist one of the longest-running service clubs in the area, they also will celebrate the decades of change that have brought us to where we are today.

The event includes a brief live auction, which will include the best of the vintage photos, along with a unique, one-of-its-kind Women’s Winemaker Magnum Lot being put together by Crab Feed co-chair and Hour Glass co-owner Carolyn Duryea. She is also organizing a separate live auction lot that will include a lunch and tasting for eight at Spottswoode Winery.

Regina Lewis, a fellow Soroptimist who owns Maine Vacation Rentals, has graciously donated a waterfront home located in Blue Hill, Maine for the live auction. The four-bedroom home will be available in early September.

Once again the Soroptimists have enlisted Elaine Honig, founder and president of STUDIO 4Forty, to serve as Master of Ceremonies and auctioneer.

Friday night includes crab dinner, no-host bar, 50/50 raffle, and dessert auction.

Saturday night includes crab dinner, no-host bar, 50/50 raffle, silent and live auction, DJ and dancing. The no-host bar will offer vintage cocktails, including martinis, manhattans, and screwdrivers.

Attendees are highly encouraged to dress in 1950s attire. As usual, this event is expected to sell out, so interested parties are encouraged to purchase tickets sooner rather than later. Tickets are $75 per person for Friday and $95 per person for Saturday.

For tickets and sponsorship opportunities visit

Soroptimist International of St. Helena was founded in 1954. In the 64 years since it was created, the service club has given away more than $1 million in individual scholarships and grants while at the same time helping numerous other local nonprofits through volunteer and financial support. The club currently has 30-plus members representing a wide range of ages and interests. The St. Helena chapter of Soroptimist International is one of 1,275 clubs spread across 121 countries.