Rotarians shell out lobsters at annual fundraiser
Lobsters may be at home in water, but Rotarians aren't necessarily.
Still, despite the harsh downpour that swamped the area Saturday afternoon, the Rotary Club of New Canaan's 28th annual Lobsterfest looked to be as successful as ever.
"Last year we did just over 1,200 lobsters," said Andy Kerchoff, chairman for the event, which was held on the grounds of the New Canaan Historical Society. "This year we're probably on par to do the same. We'll see. It depends on this weather."
By 2 p.m. the weather broke and hard-working cooks and servers were poised to keep the food flowing through 8 p.m. Saturday.
"This wasn't supposed to happen until later," said Catherine Avery of New Canaan, dodging under the tent to avoid the downpour that began almost exactly at noon on the second day of the Lobsterfest.
"We've had all kinds of weather," said Faith Kerchoff, whose husband, John, was one of three cooks operating in the middle of the torrent. "It's New England. People are either hardy and they come and eat here, or they get them to go."
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She said "car boy" containers that hold 70 lobsters each are brought to the pots for boiling, along with corn. "And we offer chicken and hot dogs for the non-lobster people," she said.
While the final fundraising tally was unavailable at press time, Rotary President Fred Baker said they served about 1,200 lobsters during the two-day event, in addition to the other offerings.
The annual fundraiser brought in between $20,000 and $30,000 last year, Kerchoff said. "All the money goes back into the community, mostly local and national projects, but sometimes international."
Last year, funds supported delivering 3,500 slightly used shoes and boots to children in Afghanistan.
"I think it's really important to support the Rotary," said Sarah Wayland of Norwalk, who braved the weather with her husband and kids. "They do so much work ... and we knew they flew out the lobsters and that they'd be waiting to serve them."
"It's a way I help give back to the community," said Jack Horner, who was among Saturday's slightly sopping servers.
And, once again, the community seemed to be responding.
Jarret Liotta is a freelance writer.