2020 LobsterFest – A Charitable Fundraiser

Westport Rotary Club has announced a relaunch of its 9th annual fall fundraiser as “2020 LobsterFest – A Charitable Fundraiser” instead of holding a physical event, in acknowledgement of and out of respect for the town’s robust physical distancing initiative during the pandemic. Held at Compo Beach in late September, volunteers at the town’s signature community event typically serve lobsters and steaks to around 1,600 guests who dine beachside. While LobsterFest has become a fun local way to celebrate the end of summer, few people realize just how many charitable causes rely on the proceeds. It is also one of the biggest Rotary fundraisers in the state with 100% of its proceeds going to local Westport area nonprofit organizations and development programs overseas. Many sponsors have already decided to lead by example and contribute their usual amounts in support of the club’s annual giving to worthy local and international causes.
“It is important to the Westport Rotary Club to make a responsible decision that considers our community and the sponsors that generously support us,” said Westport Rotary Club President Leslie Roberts. “Eradicating disease is a priority for Rotary clubs around the world. As Rotarians, we decided the best choice in the current environment is to cancel the physical LobsterFest event for September 2020.”

“LobsterFest is always such a wonderful event that is enjoyed by many people and supports so many good causes,” said Westport’s Director of Parks and Recreation, Jennifer A. Fava. “While it is unfortunate that it will not take place this year, the town of Westport fully supports and appreciates this decision in light of the current health crisis that we are all dealing with. It indicates care and concern for all members of the community, especially during these unprecedented times.”

Though no actual festival will be held this year, “2020 LobsterFest – A Charitable Fundraiser” is a creative way to encourage annual donations from both sponsors and would-be guests that support close to three dozen local charitable organizations and international humanitarian projects and to carry the Lobsterfest torch until next year. Their generosity will be acknowledged with banners and lawn signs around Westport and in media releases and ads in the coming weeks. The deadline for contributions is October 30.

The proceeds from the traditional LobsterFest support some 35 local organizations that address poverty, education and social needs in the surrounding communities, with 25% going to International Rotary charitable projects. Local recipients include Mercy Learning, a non-profit which helps women become fluent in English, obtain their GEDs, go onto college and support their families, and Child Guidance of Fairfield County, another non-profit that provides psychological and educational support to children traumatized by past experiences.
Details on how to become a sponsor or otherwise contribute are available online at www.westportrotary.org and directly from Rotary Club members.

Representing a cross-section of local business and professional leaders, the Westport Rotary Club is an organization of men and women united in service to their community, vocation and the world. One of 35,200 Rotary clubs worldwide, the Westport Rotary Club is known for philanthropy and for providing hands-on project leadership both locally and internationally. More information is available at www.westportrotary.org.

Rotary Club luncheon meetings have been suspended indefinitely during the pandemic and are currently being conducted virtually on Zoom three Tuesdays a month from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. The Club welcomes membership inquiries. Please contact Club President Leslie Roberts at leslie2of8@gmail.com or Membership Chair Fides Ostbye at fidesmo@aol.com.
Alec Foege, LobsterFest Communications, alec@brooksideresearch.com, (203) 557-3826
Gillian Anderson, LobsterFest Co-Chair, ganderson24@optonline.net, (203) 216-7408