St. Helena Soroptimists to honor Cathy Buck; annual crab feed is Jan. 31 & Feb. 1

St. Helena Soroptimists to honor Cathy Buck; annual crab feed is Jan. 31 & Feb. 1


Soroptimist International of St. Helena will host its 43rd Annual Crab Feed across two evenings, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, at the Native Sons Hall, on 1313 Spring St.

At the event, the club plans to honor one of its longtime nonprofit partners, the Cameo Cinema, with a dedicated live lot created to raise money for the theater’s numerous community-based programs, including those benefiting Soroptimist International and the women and girls it serves through its own educational and professional programming.

Cathy Buck, owner of the Cameo Cinema and founder and creative director of the Cameo’s nonprofit foundation, will be honored at the event as the club’s first-ever “Woman of Distinction.”

Buck was selected for this inaugural honorarium, in part for her longstanding willingness to team up with Soroptimist International on multiple occasions, and also for her tireless dedication to community-based programming that touches St. Helena citizens of all ages and circumstances.

“By including this lot and honoring Cathy and the Cameo Cinema, we hope to show our supporters we really are committed to maximizing the reach of their philanthropic dollars within the community,” said SIA St. Helena president Gina Lewis, who described Buck as the “perfect choice” for inaugurating the honorarium and also the auction lot.

“Cathy isn’t just a cinema owner but also an educator and community advocate committed to bettering the lives of others throughout the Napa Valley with the Cinema’s unique educational, cultural and social programming. As a partner, she is as reliable and inspired as they come.” Since purchasing the Cameo Cinema in 2008, the two nonprofits have teamed up on numerous occasions to bring critically acclaimed programming, including the award-winning documentary “Resilience,” to the Valley.

According to Lewis, the club plans to make both the “Woman of Distinction” and also the “Nonprofit Partner” Live Lot regular fixtures in future auctions.

Raffles both evenings

Festivities will commence both nights beginning at 5:30 p.m., with a no-host bar followed by sit-down dinner and wine service at 6:30 p.m.

A silent and live auction will be held on Saturday only while raffles will be held on both evenings. Those interested in kicking off their heels are encouraged to attend Saturday when a live DJ will be on hand for post-auction dancing.

Attendees can expect the club’s over-the-top crab feed fair, this time set amid a “Beads and Bling” Mardi Gras-themed party environment. A no-host bar will include a special cocktail whipped up by Ozzy Garcia, Market Restaurant’s bartender extraordinaire, expressly for the event and aptly named the “Market Hurricane.”

Live lots confirmed

The club confirms its four other live lots, which include a three-night hotel stay for two in New Orleans with top-rated restaurant and jazz club visits; a five-night/six-day condominium stay at the Waikoloa Village on Hawaii’s Big Island; a 16-bottle large format collection of collectible wines produced by some of the Valley’s most esteemed female vintners and winery owners including Heidi Barrett, Pam Starr, Paula Kornell, Robin Lail, the Novak clan of Spottswoode, and Kathryn Hall among others; and finally a lobster and libation extravaganza for 16 hosted by Christy Pestoni of Pestoni Estate Family Winery at her residence. St. Helena’s Sorensen Catering will provide lobster as well as a host of other gourmand goodies.

Taking the stage for the first time as master of ceremonies will be Courtney Menegon, crab feed committee co-chair and Steves Hardware associate. Justin Wendell of Pio Roda Auction House will be the event auctioneer.

Tickets are $75 per person for Friday and $95 per person for Saturday. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities visit

Proceeds raised from the two nights will go to fund the club’s expansive scholarship and grants program — a comprehensive offering that provides academic and professional support to women and girls of all ages — and also to support its many outreach campaigns and nonprofit partnerships and initiatives. The club is currently teamed up with the Napa County District Attorney’s office and its Anti-Human Trafficking task force, known officially as the Napa Special Investigations Bureau. To this end, the club recently provided grant funding for the second-room expansion of the county’s first safe house for adult female survivors of human trafficking and also domestic abuse.

Established in 1954, Soroptimist International of St. Helena is one of the community’s longest-running service clubs. Over six decades, the club has given away more than $1 million is scholarship and grand funding to local woman and children as well as local serving nonprofits. In addition, the club also contributes to the outreach of its parent organization, Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA).

Among the local serving organizations that have recently received program support from SIA’s St. Helena club are Girls on the Run, St. Helena Preschool for All, St. Helena Girls & Boys Club, St. Helena High School (including Future Farmers of America and St. Helena Drama), Napa Valley Youth Advocacy Center, St. Helena Food Pantry, and St. Helena Hospital Center for Behavioral Health, among others.

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