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S60C plans crab pickin’

The absence of what would have been Suffolk 60 Care’s fifth annual gala may have left a void in social calendars, but there has been a change of plans.

In the absence of what served as the group’s major fundraising event, the group has begun selling tickets for its first “Crab ‘Pickin’ for a Purpose’” on Sept. 11.

“The gala was a success for the past few years, but we decided it time to spice things and do it a bit differently,” Suffolk 60 Care’s president Jessica Mullen said. “We wanted to have greater exposure in the community while at the same time put an event together that included family and friends.”

Tickets are available at A. Dodson’s in North Suffolk, Uniquely Leo’s or the Suffolk Visitor’s Center in downtown or through any Suffolk 60 Care member.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children under 12 years and gain one entrance to what Mullen called the “Taste of Suffolk after party.”

“Families can continue their day out in the city waterside,” Mullen said. “We’re putting together family friendly activities for families to sit back, relax and enjoy the evening with good music, food and friends.”

The event will be at Constant’s Wharf 5-9 p.m.

The dinner includes an all-you-can-eat crab meal with sides, desserts, live music and family-friendly activities. Adult tickets also include two adult drinks.

The switch from the gala to the family-style pickin’ is one that Mullen said will hopefully help them increase their donations to the community.

“The gala was a very expensive event to put on,” Mullen said. “When the economy went down, not as many people could necessarily afford to pay for the tickets. We use these events to put money back into the community. If it’s not successful, it effects how much we’re able to give.”

In the past five years, the group has donated more than $150,000 to organizations such as the Chuckatuck Volunteer Fire Department, Forkids, United Way of South Hampton Roads and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.

Founded five years ago, Suffolk 60 Care is an organization of women that seeks to provide other local organizations with volunteers and financial assistance and has a mission to act as a catalyst for community change while developing individual potential through leadership.

Because most of the members are working or stay-at-home moms, “families are extremely important to us,” Mullen said. “That’s just another reason we wanted to incorporate a more family-friendly event.”