04/19/10 — Lobster Fest fundraiser sets sail May 7

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Lobster Fest fundraiser sets sail May 7

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 19, 2010 1:46 PM

The sixth annual Lobster and Shrimp Fest sponsored by The Partnership for Children of Wayne County will be May 7.

What began as a fundraiser to support educational opportunities for area child care teachers has grown into a creative event within the community, said Kim Best, director of community services for the Partnership.

"Businesses have used it as a staff appreciation luncheon. They'll purchase food for the staff," she said. "Bunko groups will have all the different couples bring a side dish or dessert dish."

Mrs. Best even recalls showing up at one event, where there were lobsters in wading pools for children to pick out their entrees and lobster races in the driveway.

Each year, tickets are sold to individuals as well as groups holding house parties all around the county. For those hosting a lobster and shrimp party for 10 or more, the Partnership will supply the invitations and lobster bibs.

But beyond the fun aspect, Mrs. Best said, it's bringing new and unique ways for people to learn more about the Partnership and what it does -- providing education and resources for children and families.

"One of the things from the feedback that we have gotten, first of all, that this was a very unusual event," she said. "We have a lot of repeat customers -- the food is fantastic -- it's pulled out of the water in Maine, put on ice, flown here the next day. You can't get it any fresher than that."

What began as solely a lobster sale was expanded three years ago, providing the option of also buying shrimp. Patrons have the choice of ordering cooked or uncooked items, which can be picked up on Friday, May 7, between 2 and 6 p.m. at the Partnership office, 800 N. William St.

Deadline to place an order is April 28.

Proceeds have been allocated to provide educational opportunities for child care teachers to attend Wayne Community College and Mount Olive College.

But this year, the kindergarten book bag program -- faced with possible elimination because of state budget cuts -- will also be a beneficiary of the fundraiser.

"The Partnership for Children distributes hundreds of book bags each year during kindergarten registration, filled with school supplies and resource information for parents," Mrs. Best explained. "This year, it has been approved to use (Lobster Fest profits) for two programs.

"So we're real excited that we're going to be able to continue these programs."

For more information, visit the Web site, www.pfcw.org or contact Mrs. Best at 735-3371, Ext. 221.