League crawfish boil fundraiser bigger each year

Published on Sunday, 18 May 2014 22:57 - Written by FAITH HARPER fharper@tylerpaper.com

The Brooks and Townsend families spent their Sunday afternoon peeling crawfish and chatting on a sunny deck near Lake Tyler.

Crawfish, music and kids activities were the highlights of the third-annual spring crawfish fundraiser held at the Tyler Petroleum Club.

The event is the spring counterpart to the annual Mistletoe and Magic event held each November, Lacie Massingill, public relations chair for Mistletoe, said. The event’s theme, “Krawfish and Kilts,” plays off the mistletoe theme of “Holiday in the Highlands,” she said.

“The Junior League’s mission is to raise money that will go back into the community,” Ms. Massingill said. “This is a fun way to kick off summer, make money for the community and build the anticipation for ‘Mistletoe and Magic.’”

Jake Townsend and his family were happy to help the league polish off roughly 10,000 pounds of mudbugs ordered from Circle M Crawfish in Big Sandy.

“This is the perfect spot to have a great event like this,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day and the music is lively.”

Townsend has loved crawfish for most of his life and even kept one as a pet when he was about two years old.

His mother Jerri Townsend said it’s a favorite family story that started at a restaurant in Longview when they found a crawfish who managed to avoid hot water.

After his mother showed him how to pick up the crustacean, Townsend paraded his new friend through the restaurant, showing him off to other customers.

The family took “Clobster the Crawfish” home after dinner and set him up in a small habitat. He lived about a month, before Ms. Townsend found him outside.

“I killed him with a (toy) gun because he pinched me,” Townsend said, adding he liked to play cowboys at the time. “Rest his soul.”

Ms. Masignill said, between 200 and 250 people joined them on the lake Sunday. The event is a new one for the league, and is growing steadily each year, she said.

The event was the first one of the new fundraising season, and after closing a record-breaking fundraising year, the Junior League is working to make this year even better.

“Hopefully we can build on that — to have even more money to bring (into) the community,” she said. “That is what this is all about. Everyone here volunteers their time for the agencies that need it.”