A Decade of Crawfish and Charity

By on 2 April, 2014 in Food, Fun, Michael Thornton with 0 Comments

Perhaps my favorite annual event the city of Montgomery has to offer returns this Saturday, April 5, from noon until 5 p.m. at Rock Bottom American Pub: the 10th Annual Autism Crawfish Boil. A wonderful benefit event full of incredible food and live music, the Mudbug Ball is Montgomery’s definitive day party, but it is first and foremost a tremendous charity event raising awareness and funding for Easter Seals of Central Alabama.  Easter Seals provides unparalleled services for children and families affected by autism, making available essential early diagnosis, in part because of a diagnostic clinic with no waiting room.  The Crawfish Boil contributes to these services and helps to fund scholarships for families to aid the immense cost of diagnosis and therapy not covered by insurance. Their work impacts families throughout the River Region.

Photo by Heidi Price

Photo by Heidi Price

Keith Sellers began the Autism Crawfish Boil in 2005 to raise Autism awareness and garner assistance for affected families like his own.  From one man’s recognition of a need for support, and a couple hundred pounds of mudbugs, grew the extensive volunteer network whose labor of love has propelled the annual event to raising over $25,000 last year and they’ll be serving 4,000 pounds of all-you-can-eat crawfish on Saturday. Committee co-chairs Stefania Cumuze and Fred Michaud meet with their team of volunteers from October to April planning, organizing and launching the year’s best party.

“We rely on the generosity of our volunteers, who give us their time so freely, and of our many sponsors,” Cumuze said.

The passion of Cumuze and Michaud for the event and, more critically, for the charity is evident. Cumuze describes the Crawfish Boil as “Fun – but fun with a purpose. Every ticket sold is helping an individual affected by autism, so you are getting much more than just a day of fun; you are helping a child or an entire family. Everyone who attends this event needs to know what a difference they are helping to make in the River Region.”

Crawfish boil mascot Alfredeaux. Design by LL Graphic Designs

Crawfish boil mascot Alfredeaux. Design by LL Graphic Designs

Formerly in Cloverdale, the Autism Crawfish Boil outgrew its neighborhood, and last year moved to Rock Bottom on the Eastern Boulevard, thanks to owner Brad Gill.

The 10th anniversary of the Mudbug Ball features terrific live music, performing on both an indoor and outdoor stage.  A VIP ticket grants you access to the indoor amenities and Rock Bottom’s service staff, who often donate their tips to help the cause.

I will be performing on the indoor stage with a newly formed group, The Old Well, at 1 p.m. and Sam Marsal takes the stage at 3. Outside, GONE 2MORROW performs at 11 a.m., followed by Federal Expression at 1:30. This year features Rock Bottom sponsoring the first Mudbug Ball after-party, free to anyone with an Autism Crawfish Boil ticket and $10 for all others, featuring Bama Budweiser and Back Forty brewery and Miss Used on the outdoor stage. Crawfish will still be available (if there are any left!) and all proceeds go toward the Easter Seals donation.

Photo by Heidi Price

Photo by Heidi Price

Do yourself a favor and come out noon Saturday, April 5, for groovy tunes, extraordinary food, and the best party Montgomery has to offer. Know that your ticket purchase goes toward an exceptional organization benefiting exceptional children.

Michael Thornton studied English at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and works as a singer/songwriter in Montgomery, AL.


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