Fundraising feast links community

Christian Urrutia / The Advocate


Cody Casares / The Advocate

Richmond resident Jayson Reyes (right) seasons his crab during the annual All You Can Eat Crab Feed fundraiser in the Gymnasium on March 28. All funds collected from the event go toward funding the athletic department on campus.

By Marlene Rivas, Staff Writer

The All You Can Eat Crab Feed was held in the Gymnasium on March 28 with the intention of raising funds for Contra Costa College’s athletic department and it received many participants from 6 to 9 p.m.

The crab was cooked behind the Gymnasium by Comet men’s basketball coach Miguel Johnson, while tables and chairs were being set up by volunteers.

“It’s a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end. It should be an interesting night,” student-athlete Dwight Wilson Jr. said.

The crab feed, which has been an annual event for about seven years, continues to grow in participation and success.

“Every year it seems to grow in number,” Johnson said. “New staff is involved and their involvement helps the event grow. It helps the athletic department and students overall.”

Black Student Union Vice President Bridgette Lott said, “I am expecting good food and good company.”

That was exactly what people received upon entering the Gym for the crab feed.

People began to file in once the doors opened and there were a total of nearly 200 people who bought the $40 ticket.

Some came in pairs or alone, while others came with entire families and took up whole tables.

The crowd was made up of family of the players, friends, school administrators, coaches and alumni.

Jim Ulversoy, kinesiology instructor, said, “(The crab feed) is a great college event that brings a lot of friends and family together to support those on the teams.” 

The tables were completely set, bibs and all included, and people could help themselves to the pasta and salad that was being served along with the crab.

Some of the volunteers, mostly student- athletes, took a stab at being waiters for a few hours and replaced the tables’ crab once it began to run low.

Volunteer Caleb Turner said, “I am very impressed. There’s no chaos and it is nicely done. I’m sure everyone will enjoy the event and their food.”

Families and friends chatted throughout the event and the Gymnasium echoed with their conversations and laughter. Some appeared to have attended the event in previous years, as they brought along their own side dishes and condiments.

Volleyball coach Zachary Shrieve said, “This event is made special by the food. Most celebrations include food, but other events may not have the quality of sitting down for a meal together.”

Players and coaches could talk among themselves and the attendants. Johnson said the crab feed lets them mingle and talk with people outside of just sitting on bleachers or on the court during athletic contests “and it’s better for community relations.” 

Aside from being a social event for all those involved or interested in the athletic department, the crab feed is also a chance for the department to show gratitude to its donors.

“We can’t survive without the community,” Johnson said. “This is a way to give back to them.”

The attendants and volunteers alike were glad to be supporting the teams who do not receive adequate funding from the state.

Women’s soccer coach Amanda Beckenhauer said along with helping to collect needed funds for the teams the event also allows people to find out about the teams in the first place, “It is always good to get the community involved and there’s exposure for the sports.”

Athletic department administrative secretary Shawna Belfield said, “I feel privileged to be a part of an event like this and I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing today when it comes to supporting our students.”

Along with being able to provide a good time for its attendants, the event allows for the community to come together with the college staff and students.

Shrieve said, “Fundraising is great, but it’s the fellowship that makes the (crab feed) so dynamic.” 

During the meal there were auctions for a few different gift baskets.

People in attendance could write down their name and bid for a chance to win a basket filled either with snacks, spaghetti and wine, chocolates or champagne. The winners were called out at the end of the event, just as the chocolate cake was served to end the meal.

The Gymnasium was filled with chatter throughout the entire event and went on even as the volunteers began to clean up. 

“This fundraiser greatly helps to supply teams with what they need. It is greatly appreciated and we have to be thankful,” Comet football player Amari Mount said.