What do you get when you divide 1,300 pounds of cooked, chilled crab by 325?
More than enough to eat for the almost 300 attendees at the Rotary Club of Sunnyvale’s Annual Crab Feed Dinner and Auction Jan. 27, held at St. Cyprian Church in Sunnyvale.
“We ordered four pounds of cooked crab per person,” said Club President Michelle Lewis.
The crab, coleslaw, pasta and bread were dished up at serving stations by volunteers from Silicon Valley high schools and Boy Scouts of America Sunnyvale Troop # 442.
Sunnyvale resident Betty Sauer went back for seconds on crab. (Some went back for thirds!) Sauer attended the crab feed as the guest of friends Mariane Devine and Rich Blish. She came prepared. She brought a metal nutcracker to crack the crab claws and a tiny metal fork to dig out the meat. Plastic bibs were provided for the messy, hands-on task.
“I came last year, and I knew it was fun. And for a good cause,” said Sauer. “The Rotary does such good things.”
In addition to $2,600 in ticket sales this year, funds were raised by silent and live auction of donated items and experiences. For $20, attendees pulled random wine corks from a container. Each cork matched a high-priced bottle of wine donated by Wine Spectator.
Los Altos residents Elsbeth TeBrake and Roger Medsker drew out a cork that matched a $65 bottle, more than tripling their $20 investment.
The 2024 totals won’t be in for a couple weeks. However, Lewis said that the 2023 crab feed netted $25,000.
“Thank you to everyone for your continued support of our club. We’re over 100 years old. The money we raise, we give back in scholarships and grants for projects,” said Lewis.
The Rotary Club was founded in 1905 in Chicago and in Sunnyvale in 1926. The crab feed started out decades ago simply as a social event before adding fundraising to the menu in the mid-1990s. Sunnyvale Rotarian and local businessperson Shane Jacksteit sponsored a table for eight this year.
“There’s no better organization to support that gets its fingers in the community,” said Jacksteit about the Rotary. “That’s what I love about Sunnyvale—that it collaborates like a family. Everybody knows everybody.”
The commercial Dungeness crab season, traditionally opening as early as November, didn’t open until Jan. 18 in mid- to lower-California. Opening was delayed to prevent migrating humpback whales and endangered leatherback sea turtles (the largest in the world) from getting entangled in crabbing lines.
Looking for another crab dinner to support community outreach in the coming weeks? Check here online.
Sunnyvale Rotary’s 2024 Golf Tournament (its second annual fundraiser) is May 20 at Coyote Creek Golf Club’s Valley Course in Morgan Hill. For early details, contact tournament co-chair Barry Vickrey at email@example.com.