Crab Crackin' Good Time and all for a Good Cause
In mid-January, nearly two dozen Samuel Merritt University (SMU) staff and faculty attended the annual Crab Feed Scholarship Fundraiser at the Colombo Club in Oakland. The Club, comprised of men and women of Italian and non-Italian heritage, was a place Mary Robinson, former Director of Financial Aid at SMU, would often go to with friends.
For the past three years Mary attended the Italian club's all-you-can-eat crab feed that raised money for graduating seniors who are children or grandchildren of the Club members. According to friend and Colombo Club member Gena Caya, Mary was well loved and respected.
"She was like a celebrity, very well known at the Colombo Club," said Caya. "She would buy several raffle tickets knowing the proceeds from the crab feed would go to the scholarship fund. She did it because she genuinely cared."
According to Mary's friends, sharing a great meal, meeting new people, and raising money for a good cause was something she enjoyed doing often. That is why Kristi Kindberg, SMU Financial Aid Counselor, organized a gathering at this year's Colombo crab feed in honor of Mary.
"It was a joyful occasion gathering with colleagues, all in tribute of a mentor and friend," said Tanya Grigg, Interim Director of Financial Aid. "As we learn how to adjust in the new 'normal' without Mary it is gatherings like these that keep her spirit with us - always."
Mary passed away at her Concord home this past October.
Upcoming: SMU Crawlers for Scholars Event
If you or someone you know loves to eat crab, listen to good ol' rock-n-roll, and enjoy mingling with alumni and friends, join the SMU community on Saturday, March 19, starting at 6 p.m., for the University 's first Crawlers for Scholars scholarship fundraiser dinner and dance. The crab feed, held at the Health Education Center - Bechtel Room, benefits the Geraldine (Gerri) Adams Scholarship Fund, the Mary E. Robinson Endowed Scholarship Fund, and the Patricia Harvey Webb Nursing Scholarship Fund at SMU.
According to Alumni Affairs Director Carla Ross, events like the crab feed are vital because the funds support SMU students who have financial need and it promotes community among the University's alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends.
"As we know, state funding is going down, budgets are being slashed, and with the clinical and classrooms hours required it's difficult for some students to work while they are in school," explains Ross. "The money raised at this year's Crawlers for Scholars will help many SMU students that couldn't otherwise pay for school."
Come and rock out to local band No Fly List, enjoy a silent auction, and a delectable all-you-can eat crab buffet– all to support scholarships for SMU students. The meal includes fresh cracked crab, salad, pasta, French bread, and dessert. Tickets are $55 ($30 of which is tax deductible). To reserve your spot at the dinner table, or to make a donation, contact the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs at 510-869-8628.
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