Cracking into another tasty Kiwanis fundraiser
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Cracking into another tasty Kiwanis fundraiser

Thirty-three years in, the Elmira Kiwanis Club continues serving up lobster, prime rib and a night of dinner and dancing to support their many charitable endeavours.

Elmira Kiwanis Club members Tom Edge, Lorne Martin, Ernie Robertson and Eugene Read have a trusty mascot handy as they prepare for the annual lobster dinner on May 31.[Scott Barber / The Observer]
Elmira Kiwanis Club members Tom Edge, Lorne Martin, Ernie Robertson and Eugene Read have a trusty mascot handy as they prepare for the annual lobster dinner on May 31. [Scott Barber / The Observer]
On May 31 at Lions Hall, more than 500 hungry patrons are expected to don bibs and crack away at fresh Shediac lobster. Prime rib from Stemmler’s in Heidelberg will also be served, along with salads, potatoes, baked beans and dessert.

“This is probably the largest fundraiser that the Elmira Kiwanis Club does each year and everything we make goes back into the community,” Kiwanian Tom Edge explained.

While this year’s party will be familiar to regular attendees, event chair Cynthia Hastings points out that the name, formerly “Lobsterfest,” has been altered to reflect the delicious red meat also on offer.

“There are people who don’t come out because they’re not lobster lovers and they think all we serve is lobster,” she said. “By changing the name to the Prime Rib and Lobster Dinner, we’re letting them know that, not only do we serve the best lobster you’ll ever taste, we also serve the best prime rib you’re ever going to find.”

Otherwise, Kiwanis members are sticking with the setup that has been tried and true for three decades.

“Every year we get great feedback from people who enjoy the night, and it shows because they keep coming back,” said Edge. “It’s special because most people aren’t eating lobster every week, and they also get the chance to work off the meal on the dance floor.”

While the evening promises fun and relaxation for guests, Kiwanis members like Edge come ready to work.

“We start at 9 in the morning setting up the hall and the stages, dressing the tables,” he said. “We work pretty well all day and I can tell you my wife and I often end up going to bed after 1:30 in the morning.”

It’s well worth the sweat, he says, to support events like the Elmira Santa Clause parade, local tree planting and the Woolwich Community Service’s backpack program

Tickets can be purchased at Read’s Decorating Centre, Elmira No Frills, or by phone 519-669-0342. The early sitting, dinner only, gets going at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $45. For the later sitting’s dinner and dance at 7 p.m., tickets are $55.

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