Two nights of festivities, 446 guests, eight local “sheroes,” and 1,600 pounds of 10-legged crustaceans – do the math and it all adds up to $112,000 to improve the lives of women and girls.
Soroptimist International of St. Helena’s 42nd annual Crab Feed was held Friday and Saturday nights at the Native Sons Hall. The proceeds will fund scholarships and grants aimed at helping women achieve their dreams.
This year’s event honored the “Amazing Eight,” a group of “sheroes” recognized for a lifetime of community service: Ramona Asmus, Alex Escareno, Carol Fellion, Kari Martin, Leslie Stanton, Ann Sorenson, Mary Stephenson and Sue Turner.
Friday night’s event featured crab, wine and a no-host bar. Saturday night’s event added silent and live auctions and dancing.
Calling the shots in the kitchen, as she has for more than 20 years straight, was Anna Beard, the club’s recording and corresponding secretary. Her team also consisted of Toni Weems, Karen Nolan and Angela Franceschi.
Beard likes to prepare about three and a half pounds of crab per person, considering that there’s a lot of shell along with the meat. The crab arrives cracked and ready to go, so Beard and her team just have to take them out of the boxes and put them in pans.
“It comes in boxes of legs and boxes of bodies,” Beard said. “We pan up two or three handfuls or legs and two of three handfuls of bodies into an aluminum pan that goes out to the tables.”
Beard makes all the salad dressing and crab sauce from scratch, but the kitchen crew’s biggest logistical feat was actually the lasagna.
“The four of us worked all of last Wednesday for like nine hours making 75 lasagnas,” she said.
Members of the St. Helena chapter of the Future Farmers of America served the food on Friday night, and volunteers from St. Helena Preschool For All served on Saturday.
A portion of the proceeds from the event will help eighth-graders at RLS Middle School who are raising money to visit Washington, D.C. this summer.