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Sold-out crab feed benefits Chamber of Commerce

Weiser Signal American of Weiser, Idaho

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Vendome packed for fundraiser, a night of food, fun, auctions

With paper bibs affixed, diners dug into mounds of crab legs and ribs Saturday, April 4, at the 16th annual Crab Feed and Auction at the Vendome Events Center in Weiser.

A total of 308 tickets were sold for the event, which is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Greater Weiser Area Chamber of Commerce.

The all-you-can-eat repast brings plenty of folks in the door. Diners had their choice of pork ribs (by Chef Keith Bryant) or fresh steamed crab legs and claws, salads (donated by various local restaurants as well as the hospital and two convalescent care centers) and hot rolls prepared by the Pioneer Elementary School staff. The Weiser High baseball team served the dinner and cleaned up later.

"It's just a great activity to support the Chamber of Commerce," Weiser Mayor Diana Thomas said. She didn't divulge how much she planned to spend during the auctions.

The event was sold out, Chamber Manager Kim Wendelsdorf said.

"Our community is wonderful about helping each other," she said.

After the meal, the popular dessert auction brought in big bucks for the Chamber. In back and forth bidding, a strawberry-lemon cake went for $120, with the winning bidder getting a round of applause. A chocolate cake brought $90, and a lemon meringue pie earned $60.

Pat Nauman, a Chamber board member and the emcee for the evening, exhorted the crowd to bid up items. Whoever spent the most on a single dessert item was entitled to two tickets to next year's crab feed.

Washington County

Treasurer Sabrina Young also sits on the Chamber board of directors. On Saturday night she was taking tickets at the door with Ange Goodwin, another Chamber board member.

"It's just a great way to give back to this wonderful community," Young said.

There was royalty at the crab feed as well. Grace Zimmerman holds the title of Miss Three Rivers Outstanding Teen, and she was helping out during the evening. The high school junior said the pageant has allowed her to meet lots of people and attend events.

Live auction items included a golf bag, a pizza a month for a year, a Hells Canyon trip for two, a U of I Vandal basket and many other items. Diners could bid on dozens of silent auction items on tables around the Vendome, including McDonald's meal passes, A-l Computer services, a blanket from Comfort Zone, a day of fun at Wahooz, a package from Mundo Hot Springs as well as other prizes.

There was also a special balloon pop feature where attendees could purchase a balloon for $20 with a guaranteed $25 prize inside. The Chamber uses the money to annually award a $500 scholarship to a Weiser High School student.

The Weiser Chamber of Commerce has about 200 members, merchants and individuals, including some from Payette, Fruitland and other outside areas. The board begins to prepare for the crab feed in October, soliciting donations and gathering auction items.

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Original Publication Date: April 8, 2015

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