What has happened to Soroptimist International of Vacaville’s annual lobster dinner for 2020? Depends on who you ask.
Some may say it’s a clever marketing campaign, while others will point to a thread of Facebook clues that challenge visitors to solve the mystery of “The Missing Lobster Dinner.”
“For 18 years, SI Vacaville has hosted a wildly successful lobster dinner every October, with themes ranging from Peace, Love & Lobster to Mobster Lobster and Lobster Safari,” explained President Mary Dickey. “But now, with a global pandemic raging, we had to get creative.”
So apparently, did the lobster – nicknamed Lola – who “disappeared” after the 2019 “Lobsters Around the World” event.
According to a website account, she was seen in downtown Vacaville booking a trip at Wasserman Travel. There have been other sightings – at Pawsh Place, Stem’s Florist, and other businesses around town. There is some speculation that Lola is planning a trip abroad – to escape the boiling heat of Vacaville.
“Apparently there are no travel restrictions for Crustaceans,” explained club member Tara Baumann, who created Lola’s image for a milk carton message. It reads:
“Last seen 2019. Description: Wearing red, two claws, two antennae, known to wear purple, goes by the name Lola. Be on the lookout!”
While there won’t be a lobster dinner for 2020, there will be a dinner, insists past President Lisa Hilas, who teamed up with past President Beth Rowe to organize the lobster-less virtual event.
The group is selling a $100 meal ticket for a dinner provided by Erica Marie’s Catering. The chef features one, two and sometimes three different entrée courses a week, and those who purchase a ticket will be able to decide when they want to use it. The meal will feed four and includes salad, bread, an entrée, two sides and dessert. It also comes with either a bottle of red or white wine, or two tickets to Brenden Theatres.
The price does not cover tax, tip and special packaging. Dinners can be picked up at Erica Marie’s Catering at 819 Davis St., Suite A.
“We thought this was a great way to support a local, female-owned business, and still maintain social distancing,” said Lisa. In addition, a portion of the proceeds earned from the fundraiser will go toward fire relief.
“It’s been our tradition to have a “Fund-a-need” highlighted at our lobster dinner every year,” explained Lisa. “This year, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Vacaville City Firefighters Charity Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting victims of tragedy and underfunded programs in the community.”
Raffle tickets are available via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and are four for a $100 donation.
Raffle prizes include a bouquet of flowers each month from Stems Florist for a year; a dessert of the month, every month for a year; and a catered lobster and beef dinner from Erica Marie’s Catering for eight.
“Even though we can’t get together and celebrate at this time, we think ‘The Missing Lobster Dinner,’ will be fun for everyone who decides to participate,” said Lisa. “This is our key fundraiser and will help us support all the many programs, awards, scholarships and international projects this year, and will go a long way in helping us make our community a better place for women and girls.”
To buy dinner tickets, visit www.vacavillesoroptimist.org and select “Events.” Sponsorships are also available for $250, and come with a dinner ticket, a visit from Lola and a choice of wine or theatre tickets.
“We invite everyone to follow us on Facebook and watch for Lola sightings! Share with your friends,” said Lisa. “It’s all for the good of the community.”
In the meantime, SI Vacaville’s Facebook page will offer posts twice a week to help visitors discover the whereabouts of Lola. Everyone who correctly guesses the final stop in her tour will be entered into a drawing. The winner of a gift basket will be announced in October.