It’s been 20 years since a group of Rams pulled on a bib, grabbed some crackers and enjoyed a feed on some crab. The act began as a fundraising effort by the Oakdale Junior High School Parent Teacher Club and 20 years later it’s still going strong.
On Saturday, Jan. 20 parents, teachers, administrators and student servers will greet the community with the 20th Annual Jeans and Jerseys OJHS Crab Feed. The event will be hosted at the Gene Bianchi Community Center, 110 S. Second Ave., Oakdale. Tickets are $50 per person or $450 for a table of eight, which includes bottles of wine and crab utensils. Proceeds from the event directly benefit needs of the school as well as the student body.
New to the event, yet not new to fundraising, co-chairs Kendra Jones and Stephanie Owens are excited by the opportunity to continue to bring this event to the community. A variety of items will be offered for silent and live auctions, as well as raffle drawings. Live music has also been brought back to the event, being provided this year by Valley Fire.
“They’re super excited,” Jones share of Valley Fire band members, scheduled to play. “It’s 20 years and we’re going to go big.”
With tickets still available, the duo hopes to reach a goal of 300 tickets sold, as well as increase the amount of raffle and auction items available. Tickets may be purchased from Kyle Richardson at the OJHS business office or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons may also call or text Jones for tickets at (209) 612-3978. This contact info may also be used for individuals interested in making donations or volunteering to help the day of the event.
“It’s just a part of our culture,” Oakdale Junior High School Principal Jon Webb said of the annual event. “It defines what we do in Oakdale. We don’t just do something for a year or two. When it’s an event that benefits students it’s something we do as a community … ongoing.”
Webb, an OJHS alum himself, noted what he enjoys most about the annual event is the gathering of the community and the opportunity for the teachers, parents and administrators to interact with the community at large in a joyful setting.
“We really are in the business of community and building relationships,” he stated.
Oakdale Joint Unified Superintendent of Schools and OJHS Past Principal Marc Malone echoed the words of Webb and the value of the annual event to the community of Oakdale.
“The crab feed really allows that site to be creative,” Malone said of the annual event and the way the funds can be utilized for the junior high, noting past events assisting with campus technology needs, as well as special projects.
“What I really enjoy about the Junior High Crab Feed is their ability to include students,” Malone continued.
Each year, the tradition of the crab feed has been upheld by allowing students to serve attendees at their respective tables.
“We’re all going to give back to our community,” Malone stated. “It gets entrenched early on, that idea that we’re all going to give back. People want to know how does Oakdale become so special … this is part of it.”
In keeping with Malone’s words, the co-chairs are hopeful that additional businesses and individuals will offer more items for auction. While a monetary goal has not been set, a desire for the funds has been expressed to the PTC with Jeans and Jerseys being a piece to the fundraising puzzle.
“We just really hope that people come out and support the kids, because that’s what it’s about,” Jones said. “Bring your checkbooks and ATM cards, we have the square …we’re ready.”