Taneytown Kiwanis Club to hold 45th Crab Feed


July 20, 2000|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IF YOU'RE LIKE most Marylanders, you can't get enough of Maryland blue crabs.

Mark Wednesday on the calendar. That's the day Taneytown Kiwanis Club will put on its 45th annual Crab Feed, with crabs, fried chicken, corn on the cob, crab soup and more.

While the Kiwanis Club in Taneytown is small, 26 members, it puts on quite an event. Last year, the club fed more than 550 people, and at least that many are expected this year, according to Roger Diehl, club president.

Planning begins early for the crab feast, Diehl said. About four months before, the Kiwanis get their advertising ready and look for a supplier for the crabs.

Each year the club gets about 50 bushels of crabs at about five dozen per bushel, he said.

They also shuck about 720 ears of corn.

"I used to drive to the Eastern Shore and fill up my minivan with corn," Diehl said with a laugh.

Now the club gets its corn in Carroll County at Baugher's.

The crab soup is legendary.

For years, Tom Albaugh, a Kiwanis member and owner of the former Taney Inn in Taneytown, and his longtime friend Ruth Valentine have made the soup in two 25-gallon butchering kettles.

Valentine said the key is getting a good stock. She makes the stock from a slab of beef and from ham.

"Then I would add the vegetables you add if you are making vegetable soup," Valentine said. "I often took them from my own garden, so they are fresh."

Valentine said another key aspect to making a good crab soup is to put the crab in at the last minute so that when cooked it is tender. She also uses about 20 pounds of potatoes, which she peels and dices for the crab soup the night before.

Ginny Fair, a past president of the club, said the crab feast began 45 years ago as a way to do something for the community and to raise money for the club.

The crab feast has been a success because club members work together with each member having a specific task.

"We're just really well-organized," she said. "The nice thing about Kiwanis is that everyone does their job."

The event has become the club's largest fund-raiser, earning $6,000 last year. The club sponsors a Boy Scout troop and a Girl Scout troop in Taneytown; gives two $500 scholarships each year, one to a high school student at Francis Scott Key and one to a student at North Carroll; and supports an iodine program for children throughout the world.

The Kiwanis Crab Feed will start at 6:30 p.m. at Memorial Park in Taneytown and end at dusk. Cost is $25 for adults and $12.50 for children age 12 and younger.

Information: 410-756-4673.

Expansion celebration

Taneytown Senior Activities Center will celebrate the opening of a newly renovated room at the center.

The ribbon cutting will start at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow to celebrate the expansion.

Brenda Lerner, center manager, said the 3,400-square-foot room could not be used in its previous state.

"We are just really, really excited about it," Lerner said.

Lerner said the room would be used for dance and exercise classes and special events. In the past, these events have been held in the dining hall.

"We had to move the tables and chairs eight times a week," Lerner said.

The celebration will include displays of artwork and ceramics that the seniors have done at the center. One senior made a quilt that is half the size of one wall. The quilt will be raffled. Hot and cold refreshments will be served.

Information: 410-756-4557.

Fish fry at church

St. Joseph's Holy Name Society will hold a fish fry from 4 p.m. until sold out tomorrow at St. Joseph's Social Hall at 44 Frederick St. in Taneytown. Salmon cakes, whiting and catfish will be served. Cost is $5 for adults; $3 for children 6 to 10 years old; and age 5 and younger eat for free.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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