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HomeNewsArchivesHundreds Turn Out for 30th Annual Clambake

Hundreds Turn Out for 30th Annual Clambake

July 23, 2006 – Genevieve Allen was, at most, a 20-minute drive away from her Frederiksted home. Still, on Saturday she said she felt as if she was off island on vacation.
Allen was among the hordes of people who converged upon Elizabeth's Restaurant at The Palms at Pelican Cove in Christiansted for the 30th annual clambake, the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center's largest fund-raiser.
Allen brought along her seven-year-old granddaughter, Zaquira, who spent much of her time playing on the beach or at the swimming pool with other children when they were not playing games, like musical chairs and tug-of-war, that organizers had planned for them.
"This is a great outing," Allen said, as she stood in line waiting for a veggie burger and some of the many fixings. The variety of sides — including macaroni salad, corn on the cob and coleslaw — were the accompaniment to meatier dishes like shrimp, hamburgers, hot dogs and, of course, clams shipped especially from Maine for the occasion.
"This is a good way to relax," she said. "It makes me feel like I'm off island on the beach, listening to music and just having a good time."
The music varied from calypso tunes by Camille "King Derby" Macedon to quelbe hits from Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights. Entertainment also included interpretive jazz and hip-hop dances. While grandma enjoyed the tunes, Zaquira won four prizes for winning performances in horse-shoe throwing, musical chairs and tug-of-war. Allen said she couldn't remember the fourth game but was just happy that Zaquira was also enjoying herself.
But Allen, a dog owner who lamented that seeing dead animals on the island's highways and byways was too commonplace, said Saturday's outing was more about the food and fun.
"I think it's a great idea to support the Animal Welfare Center," she said. "We have a lot of stray animals on the island, and the shelter is the only available resource to the community to help spay and neuter animals or to find them homes so that they don't end up dead on the street."
It was Allen's first time at the clambake fund-raiser. For Carole Wells, that was good news. Wells, the shelter's development director and former public information officer for Juan F. Luis Hospital, had hoped to entice new people into attending such a function.
She acknowledges that the event, which charges an entry fee of $30 for adults and $10 for children under 12, has been erroneously labeled as exclusive.
"We wanted everyone from all walks of life to come because having stray animals afoot affect us all," she said.
Unlike past clambakes, which were held on the East End at Duggan's Reef, this year's was held at Elizabeth's.
"The Palms and Elizabeth's have been so gracious and helpful to us, and we wanted it to be centrally located so everybody could come," Wells said.
Wells said last year the clambake wasn't held at all and that the year before "didn't do so well," so she's hoping that this year the profits roll in.
"We are hoping to raise as much as we can," Wells said Saturday. "We get a lot of hungry Crucian critters that need to be fed."
Opened 31 years ago, the center cares for about 3,000 animals a year, according to Wells.
The money raised goes toward the center's programs on spaying and neutering, education and a its Crucian Critters program, which places unwanted V.I. pets for adoption on the U.S. mainland.
According to Wells, Saturday's clambake, held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., drew about 400 people — not including the 75 or so volunteers who worked tirelessly to serve food and coordinate the raffle of some 65 donated items.
Day trips to Puerto Rico, gift certificates to restaurants and hotel stays at Divi and exquisite handmade silver jewelry were among the prizes that some lucky folks walked away with Saturday.
Wells had lots of praise for the volunteers and sponsor, the Prosser ICC foundation.
"Without them it wouldn't have happened. It couldn't have happened without them," she emphasized. "They are backbone of the event and the existence of the shelter depends on our volunteers."

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