Packwood Improvement Club’s Annual Crab Feed Set to Return

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After taking a year off due to the pandemic, the Packwood Improvement Club (PIC) will bring back its annual crab feed fundraiser on Jan. 15 at the Packwood Community Hall.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. along with a no host bar, and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $40 and are pre-sold at Packwood Spirits, 13402 U.S. Highway 12, Packwood. For questions or donations, call event organizer Elise Barker at 360-304-1545. In total, 150 tickets will be available.

Fresh Dungeness crab is picked up on the day of the event by Lewis County Commissioner and former PIC President Lee Grose.

According to Sheryl Hall, a 21-year Packwood resident, 15-year club member and current trustee: “It is a big party, basically. … It's just a fun time for everyone to get together and loosen up a little bit and just relax.”

For those who don’t like crab, there will be a pasta dish. All meals come with french bread, a salad and bar access.  Masks will have to be worn at the event until groups are eating or sitting with only their family members.

Folks of all ages are welcome to attend, and guests often come from Morton, Randle and even Mossyrock for the event. Along with a raffle, a silent auction and live auction are usually held, though Hall did not know if there would be enough items donated for both types this year. There is also a dessert auction held by the Packwood Learning Center, which will receive most of those proceeds.

Past raffle items have included a handmade quilt and a ski-lift chair. This year, it’s been harder for the club to find donors, Hall said. She suspects this is mainly due to the holidays keeping folks busy. Though, a year’s hiatus and rapid change in the East Lewis County town may be causing some disconnect from the community for the club, which has been around since the 1950s.

“The whole town has changed, the dynamic has changed, the demographics have changed. I’m just not sure that it’s really caught on yet because the new group of people, if you will, that are here recreating don’t maybe know anything about (the PIC) because we haven’t had it,” Hall said.

Members are optimistic the crab feed’s return will be one step toward rekindling the PIC’s reputation in Packwood.

Hall hopes the crab feed can raise enough to help the club through the challenges of the times as well, as one of the goals is to build a deck off the community center facing the park which could allow for more outdoor gatherings.

A deck would also improve on the weddings, memorials and other events held at the community center. The last cost estimate for the project was around $35,000.

Donations to the club, which is a 501 c-6, can be made to Packwood Improvement Club, P.O. Box 111 Packwood, WA 98361.

Club meetings are held at the Packwood Community Center on the second Monday of every month at 6 p.m. Visit @PackwoodPIC on Facebook for more information.