Nine years ago, when the Lake Shore-Severna Park Rotary Club was hoping to establish an annual event to raise money for local scholarships, club member Larry Sanders, owner of Sander's Diamond Jewelers, had an epiphany.
While attending the Maryland Seafood Festival, Sanders decided the Rotary Club should create its own seafood-based fundraiser, one that appeals to Marylanders' inherent love of crab. Thus, the crab soup cook-off fundraiser was born.
The club was able to garner support from local businesses such as Bella Napoli and Angel's Food Market, who compete to win the title of best cream of crab and Maryland crab soup. At its peak, the competition hosted 12 participants, both restaurants and individuals, as well as more than 500 attendees.
Each competitor must serve at least eight gallons of soup during the event. In 2014, Giuseppe's brought 30 gallons of soup to the event to make sure they had enough.
Winners of previous cook-offs include Bella Napoli, who won best cream of crab soup, and winner of best Maryland crab soup, Angel's Food Market.
This year, Rotary decided to limit the number of participants in the cook-off to 10 which will "allow for a more comfortable experience," said John Clark, program chair and past club president. However, he notes there is still room for participants in this year's competition.
Clark says this event provides exposure for local businesses, helping them connect with potential customers. "It's a great marketing opportunity," he said.
The event will be held at Kurtz's Beach, 2070 Kurtz Ave., in the restaurant's recently renovated hall, 1-4 p.m. Palm Sunday, March 25. Tickets are $15 each; children under five years old eat free.
Tickets may be purchased in advance at Sanders Diamond Jewelers, 3820 Mountain Road, or at Kurtz's Beach the day of the event.
Since its inception, the crab soup cook-off has continued to expand; last year it raised roughly $8,000 with more than 400 hundred people in attendance. Clark says the Rotary is hoping to raise at least $7,000 this year and sell a minimum of 400 tickets.
The funds raised will be divided between four $1,500 scholarships awarded to graduating seniors and two $500 Vernon Frame scholarships benefiting students who decide to pursue a law or law enforcement degree.
Additional funds will be used to purchase dictionaries for local third graders in the Pasadena and Severna Park areas. The Rotary Club has already provided around 20,000 books to schools in the area.
The Rotary Club is accepting scholarship applications from local high school students. Scholarships are open to students who attend public, private or home schools. Prospective students must live in Pasadena or Severna Park.
Applications can be downloaded by visiting www.rotarycluboflakeshore.org or by emailing email@example.com.
For more information, call Clark at 410-320-3145.
Orchard Beach VFD Ladies Auxiliary will host a bingo luncheon at the station, 7549 Solley Road, Sunday. Doors open at 9:30 a.m., early bird games start at 11:30 a.m. and regular games start at 1:15 p.m. Admission is $20 per person and includes lunch. Kitchen is open during intermission. No checks accepted. For details, call Janet Aro, at 443-798-8434.
Pasadena Sportfishing Group will meet at Earleigh Heights VFC, 61 Ritchie Hwy., Monday. Doors open at 6 p.m. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.
Shawn Kimbro of Chesapeake Light Tackle will discuss spring trophy rockfish.
Food and beverages are available and children receive a free ice cream. A free drawing for a door prize will be awarded to adults and children. Fishing tackle raffle tickets and a 50/50 drawing will be held after the discussion.
During March meetings, members are participating in a Snag-a-Bag food drive for the Anne Arundel County Food Bank. Bring non-perishable food or cash donations to be eligible to participate in a drawing.
For more information, visit www.passadenasportfishing.com.
Orchard Beach VFD will host a St. Patrick's Day shrimp feast at 7 p.m. March 17.
Menu includes shrimp, fried chicken, corned beef and cabbage, mashed potatoes, green beans, macaroni salad, dessert, and green beer.
Music provided by a live DJ. Raffles and games will be available. There will also be a corn hole tournament starting at 6 p.m. Entry fee is $20 per person.
For more information, e-mail Obvfdevents@yahoo.com.
Easter egg hunt
Galilee Lutheran Church, 4652 Mountain Road, will host an Easter egg hunt for children in the community through fifth grade March 31.
Sign-in will begin at 10 a.m. with the program starting at 10:15 a.m. Families will meet in the church sanctuary for a special Easter message, before children hunt for eggs.
Children second grade and younger will need at least one parent present to participate. Children are asked to bring their own baskets.
Prizes will be hidden in several eggs. After the egg hunt, crafts and snacks will be available in the fellowship hall. For more information, call Director of Discipleship Emily Phoenix at 410-255-8236.
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