By Abby Wargo
Student Life Editor
Over 500 students, parents, and alumni flocked to the waterfront for Phi Delta Theta’s 27th annual crab feast on Sept. 23. As of last Saturday, the event made $15,000 through credit card sales alone.
The crab feast is Phi Delta’s main philanthropy event, and all proceeds go towards amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research. According to senior brother Samson Ramasamy, the Packard Center at Johns Hopkins represented at the event and is matching the amount of money raised at the event. The Center conducts research for ALS, and brothers take trips to Baltimore to witness the work they do there.
Each year, the event grows and becomes more popular, according to the brothers. Pat Berry, a sophomore brother of Phi Delta, said, “We have good crabs. We’re a chapter from Maryland, so [having a crab feast] worked for us as a chapter. You can’t do Maine lobster and expect Marylanders to come out.”
This year’s crabs came from Chester River Seafood, a local business. Around 15 businesses sponsored the event, and all of the other Greek organizations on campus donated money.
The brothers agreed that the event was a team effort from both the fraternity and the community.
“[The feast is ] an opportunity for us to give back. It brought us all closer together,” said junior Garrett Wissel.
“We get really involved with the community [for this event] and it’s great for us and the kind of image we want to project,” said sophomore Jack Gribble.
For WC students, the crab feast is an event to return to every year. Senior Patricia LaMark has attended the crab feast for two years.
“My freshman year, my family and I came. For me, it was my first experience with crabs. I’m not from Maryland, so I had never eaten them before,” she said.
Alumni are also attracted to return for the feast.
Alex Kurtz, Class of 2017, attended the feast with her brother, and had a personal connection to the cause.
“My dad’s mom actually died of ALS, so this event is a great one to support for a good charity. [My brother and I] are both vegans, so we can’t actually eat the crabs, but they had veggie burgers to be inclusive,” she said.
Every Phi Delta brother has a different task to help the event run smoothly. Gribble helped in the parking lot, Berry ran crabs to tables, and other brothers ran the check-in table and sold T-shirts. The week before the event, all of the brothers took turns sitting at a table in Hodson to attract attendees and advertise.
The T-shirt design, a staple of the event, was done by a contracted artist from the community, Ramasamy said. This year, the design features a sunset, palm trees, and crabs.
The success of the event was expected by the brothers, but rewarding all the same.
Gribble said, “We go above and beyond [for this event] to make this as successful a project as it can be.”