More Than 1,500 Attend Sold Out Crab Feed

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More Than 1,500 Attend Sold Out Crab Feed

Great Sonoma Crab and Wine Fest Supports Sonoma County Agriculture

Article by Rachel LaFranchi, Photos by Matt Salvo of Salvo Image

Published March 1, 2016

4-H and FFA members, along with Transcendence Theatre Company, lead guests in the National Anthem at the sold out crab feed in February.

Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s 27th annual crab feed sold out with more than two weeks to go to until the event. Benefitting agricultural education, more than 1,500 people attended the event on February 6 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

The Great Sonoma Crab and Wine Fest started with a local food and wine reception before moving into dinner and later the program.

The reception featured 21 Sonoma County wineries and 14 local food companies.  Foods ranged from the well-known Pasta King to newcomers Guma Spicy Pies. The latter, brought to the crab feed by Emmanuel Ssensulike, their West Coast operations director, are fried and filled pies similar to samosas or empanadas, with a recipe brought to the U.S. from Uganda.

More than 5,000 pounds of crab were served at dinner along with 4,200 bite size deserts by Costeaux French Bakery which included eclairs, cream puffs and chocolate crinkle cookies. Guests also enjoyed crab shaped breads, clam chowder, pasta and salad. In addition to food and wine, front row admiral’s tables enjoyed local sparkling wine.

The evening’s program was kicked off by Transcendence Theatre Company preforming a rendition of “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. Transcendence Theatre Company was then joined by 4-H and FFA members to lead the National Anthem.
President John Azevedo welcomed the crowd, acknowledging local and state elected officials for attending.

“The Farm Bureau Crab Feed is one of my favorite events of the year; I love the company and conversation around the tables. I moved to Sonoma County because I married into an agricultural family and I never lose sight of how important farmers and ranchers are to our identity and economy,” said Supervisor Shirlee Zane.

Brent Farris, emcee of the event, started the live auction with a welcome to special guest Dwight Hicks who played for the San Francisco 49ers in the 80’s. The live auction followed with 22 lots benefiting Sonoma County agriculture.

The diamond raffle, sponsored by E.R. Sawyer, took place mid-auction. Camille Seghesio won a one carat round brilliant diamond. Other raffles included the general and trip raffle; the trip was won by Donna Stornetta. Emma Chance took a chance when she put her tickets in a general raffle box for a 55 inch 4k ultra HD TV, and luck was with her as her ticket was drawn from more than 1000 other tickets. Chance, 84, was delighted saying, “I don’t believe it! I’ve never won a thing!”  

Nicolas Hernandez Ramirez was introduced right before lot 12 – agricultural scholarships. Ramirez is the son of vineyard worker Ramona Hernandez, a graduate of Windsor High School and current student at California State University, Fresno. He is studying viticulture and plans to become a Sonoma County vineyard manger.

This year, the Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County raised more than $70,000 at the crab feed for scholarships for students furthering their education at the Santa Rosa Junior College, trade school or four year university.

“I am really thankful and happy that I met Farm Bureau and its team,” said Ramirez.

“This opportunity changed my life in a way that I never imagined. I can’t express enough what it has done for me. I have met great people through Farm Bureau such as Tim Tesconi and John Azevedo. I look up to them, and I hope to follow their steps as I finish my education. I am looking forward to be part of Sonoma County Farm Bureau after I graduate from Fresno State. I plan to help future generations just as Farm Bureau helped me.”

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