HOUGHTON - Houghton Rotary Club members got a sneak peek at this year's Seafood Fest gala menu at their meeting Thursday, where they also got the chance to sign up for volunteer shifts at the annual event.
This year's Seafood Fest takes place June 14-16 at the Ray Kestner Waterfront Park. Since the Thursday night gala falls on Flag Day, the menu is built around an American theme. Dishes include fire-roasted Native American salmon from Washington, Alaskan seafood and Louisiana-style gumbo.
This year's gala has already sold out at 208 tickets, topping the 196 from last year.
Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
Local first responders are seen after receiving honors from the Houghton Rotary Club Thursday. From left are Michigan Technological University Reserve Officer Training Corps Department Chair James Spence, Rotary President Carrie Richards, Houghton Police Department Patrolman Zach Wheeler, Lt. Allan Hoffman of the MTU Department of Public Safety and Police Services, MTU EMS Sarah Gray, Officer Dave Kantola of Adams Township Volunteer Fire Department and First Responders, Officer Robert Megowen of the Houghton Fire Department (representing the entire department), Jason Mohar of Mercy EMS (part of the day’s on-duty ambulance crew) and Jon Stone of the Stanton Township Volunteer Fire Department. Not pictured is Undersheriff Roy Britz of the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office.
Seafood Fest Chair Dallas Bond also encouraged members to donate wines for the gala's wine auction. Last year, it raised $1,500 for the Houghton Rotary Scholarship Fund.
"The better the quality of wine, the more money we make and the more money goes to our scholarship fund," he said.
In addition to the regular Seafood Fest menu, a steak dinner will be available from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Instead of New York strip, this year's menu will include ribeye.
Of course, such a big operation doesn't happen by itself. The back of the room was plastered with sign-up sheets for volunteer shifts for every task from serving to dish-washing. And you don't have to be a Rotary member to pitch in.
"If someone wants to volunteer for a specific job a Rotarian has signed up for, we usually ask the Rotarian to find a different job, because the volunteer is doing us a favor," said Rotarian Ellen Horsch, who is in charge of coordinating volunteers.
Horsch said high school and college students can volunteer by themselves, and middle school school students with parents.
"If we can find big groups, they usually have a lot of fun and they come back," she said.
Bond encouraged members to be active in selling tickets.
"The more we sell ahead of time, the less we have to worry about selling out the event itself," he said.
Anyone interested in helping to plan for this year's Seafood Fest is encouraged to stop by the Library Restaurant & Brew Pub at 5:30 p.m. each Wednesday until the event.
For more information on Seafood Fest or to volunteer, contact Horsch at firstname.lastname@example.org.