The Wenatchee Valley Senior Activity Center is holding its annual crab feed fundraiser this weekend.

Every year, the event helps raise money for the center's day-to-day operations, but this year its taking on added significance as part of a capital campaign to expand and renovate the center's campus at 1312 Maple Street in Wenatchee.

The center's Director of Communications and Development, Russ Alman, says the effort is necessary so the organization can keep up with the growing demand for space from new members and its thriving thrift shop.

"The plan is to build a 6,500-square-foot addition to the back of the existing building. We'll then move our thrift shop into the new space and get it out of our activity spaces and then renovate our existing activity spaces, so we'll end up going from three available activity spaces to nine."

The thrift shop, which accounts for roughly 70% of the center's annual revenues, has grown dramatically over the past three years and its operations have taken over numerous spaces within the center that were originally intended as activity spaces for senior center members.

In addition, the center's membership is growing at a rate of 40 to 50 new people every month, and Alman says it's showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

The center's overall fundraising goal is $4 million, with most of the money projected to come from grant funding and only about 10% ($400,000) to be raised as part of the campaign through private donations and events like the crab feed.

As for the feed itself, Alman says this year's event - which has been dubbed "Booty for the Build, carries a corsair's theme and will feature plenty of food and fun.

"This time we decided to go with a pirate theme for the feed. It's not required, but we are encouraging attendees to come dressed in their favorite pirate attire or in tropical-themed clothes. Of course we'll have all-you-can-eat fresh, Dungeness crab and will be doing a live auction for an e-bike, as well as a silent auction with a number of prizes that have been donated by local businesses."

The festivities will also include live tropical-inspired music by the Easy Street Men's Choir and a presentation about the capital campaign by senior center staffers. And for those who are allergic to shellfish or would prefer something other than crab, the center will also be serving gourmet spaghetti.

The feed takes place on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 5:30-10 p.m. at the senior center.

Tickets are $120 per person and can be purchased at the senior center. Seating is limited to 150 individuals.

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