Monday, May 21, 2007
YL Sunrise Rotary Lobsterfest Draws 1,400 Diners
The popular annual event raises money for several charities.
The Orange County Register
YORBA LINDA — "All right guys drop one!" Mark Samaniego told his team of volunteers as they dropped the first basket of lobsters into boiling water for the 20th
Still two hours before the doors opened on one of the biggest events in town, a couple of anxious lobster lovers were already in line
"I love lobster and making new friends," said Andrea Montoya, who was first in line along with her aunt, Irma Contreras, from San Gabriel Valley.
"We call it our annual family fest," added Montoya, who has been coming for the past six years and can eat up to five lobsters.
This year, 1,400 people attended Friday's Lobsterfest fundraiser, organized by the Yorba Linda Sunrise Rotary Club in the Community Center's parking lot. The attendants chatted, laughed, milled around and cheered.
Martha Godinez, Contreras' sister, said she had starved the whole day just to enjoy lobster that night.
"It's a nice atmosphere. We can sit back, relax and enjoy lobster," she said.
Seven lobsters is Godinez's record.
Most attendants said they loved eating all the lobster their stomachs can hold, but the event is also about making new friends and spending time with family.
Sandra Segura of Lake Elsinore, who has been coming for nine years, met Montoya, Contreras and Godinez three years ago and said this is an opportunity to catch up with them.
Antonio Samaniego volunteered to cook lobsters to help out his son, Mark.
"This is a very enlightening experience because you meet a lot of nice people, but what I enjoy the most is the time I spend with my son."
The Sunrise Rotary uses the money to help local and international organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs of Placentia-Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda YMCA, Teen Challenge International of Orange County, Corazon House Build in Mexico and many more.
"It's amazing because you have all of these business people who have a vested interest in giving back to the community and to world projects," Mark Smaniego said.
He said the event is made possible by the hard work of about 200 volunteers.
Kevin Azizpour, 22, from Teen Challenge International, who helped throughout the day, said, "These people have blessed our learning center, and it's like we're giving back."
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