Crab and steak hit record numbers
Gunnison, Col. Absent for two years from its annual spot on the spring schedule, the Sam Boyd/Mountaineer Athletic Association (MAA) Crab & Steak Feed Dinner and Auction returned for its 19th meeting in record fashion on Saturday, April 2, easily surpassing the record of fundraiser from the previous event setting a new record of $86,855.
A sold-out crowd of 400 gathered at Western Colorado University’s Mountaineer Field House for the Roaring ’20s (Take 2!) themed event – presented by sponsors Lacy Construction and United Companies – which directly supports the scholarship needs of Western student-athletes.
The most recent Crab Feed last took place in 2019, raising a then-record total of $54,033. The 2020 event was scheduled as usual – with a Roaring ’20s theme – but was canceled due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 event was also canceled due to the same protocols, but this 2022 version of the event went off without a hitch.
Fans in attendance were treated to an all-you-can-eat feast of Pacific Dungeness crab, steak (from Great Range Bison), salad and pasta, desserts and drinks. MAA Board Vice Chairman Drew Brown, owner of 5 B’s BBQ in downtown Gunnison, handled the food preparation and cooking for the event. Sodexo provided wine and champagne and High Country Beverage provided participants with beer.
Throughout the dinner portion of the program, attendees were able to invest in tickets for 20 raffle prizes (keeping either a souvenir Crab Feed pint glass or mason jars); draw prize of 52 cards; door prizes for card games; and 20 silent auction items.
The dinner festivities took place at the center of the evening – a live auction hosted by professional auctioneers Scott Shuman and his daughter, Shelby. The 20 live auction prizes included a signed Los Angeles Chargers jersey donated by former WCU footballer Austin Ekeler and dinner with interim WCU President Nancy Chisholm and newly elected President Brad Baca. .
The evening ended with one last live auction item – Give to Give. Auctioneer Scott Shuman invited the crowd to “offer” a donation, and he rattled attendees up to almost $34,000 in individual donations.
The record-breaking evening would not have been possible without the immense support of those in attendance and the MAA Board of Directors consisting of Brown, Candi Borah, Leila Calkins, Connor Clark, Chris Coleman, Brian Coppess, Jim Harriss, Josh Hartner, Jay Hill, Jeanie Miller, Linda Pierce, Rick Desch, Joe and Sheila Winegardner and David Wright.
Western Athletics would like to thank the 26 companies, organizations and individuals who purchased VIP tables: Brad and Julie Baca; Outback Cafe; Rick Desch; wide range bison; Gunnison Shipping; Gunnison Valley Health; Drink from the High Country; Insurance of the Rockies; Lace construction; Ron Leach, WCU Business School; Paula Mann, CPA; Mario’s and The Dive; monkey goats; Adam Murdie for Sherriff; OffCenter designs; Piper Enterprises; Professional Contractors, Inc.; Spallone Construction; State Farm and Gunnison Trucking; Three Rivers Resort; Advancement of the WCU; Relations with WCU alumni; Cheering WCU; WCU Foundation; Office of the WCU President; and United Enterprises.
The 2022 Crab & Steak Feed total brings the all-time event total to over $611,000. The biggest annual fundraising event for Western Athletics is tentatively set to be held in 2023 on April 1 at Mountaineer Field House.