An unfortunate situation 400 miles away at the coast has some folks a little misty-eyed about the menu for the coming Vale Fire and Ambulance fundraiser dinner. Yes, the traditional crab feed is being turned into a steak and chicken feed this year. But here’s the thing, folks, crustaceans are not – repeat, not – the point.


The organizers have had good turnouts for their crab feeds in the past. A lot of folks love seafood, and crab is a good wrinkle to draw a crowd here in the heart of beef country.


However, the conditions simply conspired against that menu this year. The explanations are mixed: Climate change, toxic waters, overfishing, too many natural predators lurking in too-warm waters, or a little of all of the above. Whatever rationale you favor, the result at the markets is a breath-taking price for crab – if you can even find it.


Organizers noted the problem in announcing the change, and the trade publications back them up bigtime. A March 13 article in Undercurrent News noted the high price and low supply, indicating that even seafood restaurants have been taking crab off the menu. “At the price levels now, an entrée is going to cost $60 if you count their costs,” the article said.


A price tag like that no doubt would put the damper on attendance here in Vale, not to mention erasing the idea of “funds” from the effort for a fundraiser.


The solution – a switch to beef and chicken, with two price options – gives people a chance to enjoy a good meal with friends and neighbors, and to contribute to a good cause.


After all, this isn’t about supporting the seafood fishery in Lincoln County. It’s about supporting a local department that protects property and lives right here in Vale. The proceeds will help purchase new uniform clothing used by the crews – shirts, sweatshirts and coats. If funds allow, add in the duty pants used for firefighting. Anyone who’s priced fire-protective attire knows the good stuff doesn’t come cheap, and it doesn’t last forever.


Our emergency crews invest their time and energy in training and practicing to keep us safe when trouble comes. It’s worth our while to make sure they have appropriate gear for the job.


So don’t be crabby - Get your tickets now for the March 26 dinner, and support our fire and ambulance service. – SC