Crab season is underway and there are several organizations hosting crab feeds in the area. This past Saturday, the Central Valley Community Resources (CVCR) organization joined the crowd, hosting their inaugural Crab Feed at the Riverbank Community Center and bringing a spotlight to Transitional Housing Placement Plus Foster Care program. The program provides subsidies for rent and other living expenses to help at-risk young adults, ages 18 to 21, in extended foster care so that they can be self-sufficient.
Attendees of the inaugural event lined up at the door at 4 p.m. and were checked in by board members Diana Gonzalez and Joan Brister Giles. There was a silent auction for people to participate in that included a variety of items like sports memorabilia, skin treatments, an orchid, home décor, jewelry and much more.
CVCR Chief Executive Officer Darlene Barber Martinez and board members decided to host the event themed “Crabby Love Affair” to celebrate Valentine’s Day, crab season, and bring awareness to the foster care program. The funds raised will help foster youth establish a household with furnishings.
Showing her support for foster youth, Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors member Kristin Olsen briefly stopped by the event to say a few words.
“This is a fantastic turnout considering that this is the first crab feed for the Central Valley Community Resource Center so thank you for taking the time to be here,” said Olsen. “Helping foster youth is a personal passion of mine and should be a community passion of all of us.
“Did you know that across the entire county we are only talking about 700 kids that need foster families? That is a manageable number.”
Olsen explained that when she was 18 she had parents that were able to help her get settled into college and then after she graduated they helped her find an apartment.
“These are people that don’t have that kind of support network,” added Olsen of the foster children. “So the money that you are giving tonight is going to make a huge difference in their lives.”
Jose’s Catering served up Caribbean style crab, some corn on the cob, tri tip, Jambalaya rice, and Cajun chili beans along with heart shaped cake for dessert.
There were 240 tickets sold and 600 pounds of crab purchased. There were seven student volunteers and their teacher, seven board members and another 10 volunteers in action to make the event a success.
“These are the same students that provide meals for our Senior Bunch Fridays program,” stated Barber Martinez. “The students are learning how to cook and make healthy choices by planning and preparing menus and they are earning Community Service points. They may also be recipients of our Scholarship program.”
A photo booth was set up so that guests could have a keepsake of the event and 100 couples were given a frame to put their picture in.
They had a live band, Combo Puerto Rico, that entertained the crowd with high energy rhythms that got several people on their feet dancing.
For the first crab feed, Barber Martinez expressed that it was a successful event and that she plans to have another crab feed next year with more volunteers.
“We would like to thank all of our volunteers, Combo Puerto Rico for providing awesome music for dancing, Cortez Photography, our guest speaker Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors Kristin Olsen, and most of all, our supporters of Central Valley Community Resources, Inc.,” stated Barber Martinez.