The Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg shelled out about 2,000 lbs of shrimp at its 39th annual Shrimp Feast on Sept. 8.
Despite predictions of stormy weather people still came out in large numbers. Mike Rock, a co-organizer of Shrimp Feast, estimated about 1,800 people attended.
Even when it did rain people simply popped open their umbrellas and kept shelling shrimp until the weather cleared up.
“This is a must go-to Williamsburg community event,” Rock said. “If you are in Williamsburg you have to go.”
Shrimp Feast is a fun social gathering, the main reason for the event is to give back to the community. Rock said 100 percent of the net proceeds from the feast go to local charities and outreach programs.
“I’m proud of what the money goes toward,” said Dale Sprenkel, who has been a member of the Kiwanis Club for 35 years. “(The event) is not just feeding a bunch of people, the money goes to good civic causes.”
This year’s charity headliners were Literacy for Life, Grove Christian Outreach, the One Child Center for Autism and Latisha's House.
“Each of our headliners last year got a check for a little over $10,000,” Rock said. “So its significant money, it's not pocket change.”
Rock said the event’s community partners and sponsors have helped Shrimp Feast become the success it is. For example, every year the Second Street Bistro has helped the Kiwanis Club purchase all of the food it needs.
Mickey Chohany, co-owner of the Second Street Bistro, said the restaurant has been helping with Shrimp Feast for 30 years.
“The Kiwanis Club made John (my brother) and me honorary Kiwanians years ago because I think they feared the fact we might not do this one day,” Chohany said, jokingly. “But it’s an event we really look forward to each year.”
Along with the community partners, Rock said the feast is run entirely by volunteers from the Kiwanis Club and its headlining charities, along with affiliate organizations from around the area.
“It is truly a community effort to put this on,” Rock said. “(Shrimp Feast) is sponsored by the Williamsburg Kiwanis Club, but there are a lot of people in the community that make this work.”
Want to learn more?
To learn more about the Kiwanis Club or how to join visit williamsburgkiwanis.org.
Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.