On Jan. 21, 2017 the Helix Aquatics program celebrated their 4th annual Crab Feed at The Crystal Palace. Tickets were sold for $50.00. The event consisted of a crab dinner along with both live and silent auctions. Aquatics team members helped prepare the food and serve it to their guests. The items included in the auction were donations from the athletes and their families.
This year, one of the auction items included JetBlue Plane tickets. The money raised from the event will help fund the Aquatics Team. Our Aquatics program at Helix includes water polo, the swim team, and our dive team. The Crab Feed is an extremely crucial fundraiser for these programs.
The idea for a Crab Feed started four years ago, when a family who had been apart of the program wanted to help Helix Aquatics. They wanted to do something different from a typical fundraiser, so they decided to do a crab feed. According to Coach Amy Hull, they made $20,000 the first year they had this event.
Hull started playing water polo and swimming when she was young and continued throughout high school as well . She coaches JV swim at Helix and previously coached one of the novice teams for girls water polo.
Hull said the best part of coaching and doing the Crab Feed is to “get to meet kids and see them outside of the classroom. Especially with the crab feed, I get to see kids take on responsible roles that we don’t usually get to see on a school campus.”
According to Zaineb Ashraf, a freshman at Helix who plays on the novice water polo team, the crab feed helps support the Aquatics program in various ways. “It allows us to have more opportunities, play in more tournaments, and have more gear available like suits and warm ups,” she said.
This year the Crab Feed had a very special guest speaker, Sami Hill. She previously won a gold medal for U.S women’s water polo in the 2016 Olympics.
Rosalie Weas, also on the girls’ freshman water polo team at Helix, worked the Crab Feed as kitchen help. Weas along with a few other girls, helped prepare the plates with food. According to Weas “working at the Crab Feed was hard work but it paied off seeing the faces of everyone after their meal.”
She plans to also compete on the swim team at Helix, as she has lots of experience swimming outside of school as well. “I think water polo really taught me how to work as a team and communicate within a team,” she said.
Lenelle Wylie, Helix Biology teacher and head coach of Aquatics at Helix said the Crab Feed raised $18,000 this year. Wylie said the most fun part about putting together the Crab Feed is “Seeing the kids represent us during the event. They are so professional. I also like watching the auctioneer run the live auction. It is so fun!”
The crab feed is a lot of work to put together but the teamwork and outcome are worth it, according to Coach Wylie. The athletes develop skills in and out of the water “Aside from swimming and playing water polo, they learn dedication and commitment. They learn that everybody has a role on our team and we are all important. They finally learn that through hard work they can improve at anything,” Wylie said.