Clawing Our Way to the Top!
Here’s how it all started and how the Lobsterfest has evolved, into the fun community event that it is today and benefits the community.
The Lobsterfest at Newport Beach began in 2009 as a fundraiser for the Costa Mesa and Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Clubs. Now in its eighth year, the Lobsterfest has created its own foundation and maintains 501 (c) 3 status. Since 2009, proceeds from the event have supported the Newport Sunrise Rotary Club, Costa Mesa Rotary Club, Newport-Mesa Schools Foundation, Leadership Tomorrow, Make-A-Wish® Orange County and the Inland Empire, and New Directions for Women.
In its first year – 2009 – the Lobsterfest at Newport Beach became an exclusive fundraising event for the Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club and its lead beneficiary was the Newport-Mesa Schools Foundation. After the 2010 Lobsterfest, the Newport Sunrise Rotary Club decided to take their fundraising efforts in a different direction and ultimately sold the rights to the Lobsterfest Foundation for $1.00.
Tim Brown, one of the 'founding' committee members, took the Lobsterfest idea to the Board of Directors for Leadership Tomorrow with the thought that the event could be used to fund scholarships for their year-long civic leadership program. The Leadership Tomorrow is designed to help interested community members become more involved in civic leadership roles and activities for residents of the Costa Mesa, Irvine, Newport Beach and Tustin communities. Leadership Tomorrow along with the Doc-In-The-Box of the Africa Project were to beneficiaries of the 2011 Lobsterfest at Newport Beach hosted by Bacchus International.
In 2012, Leadership Tomorrow hosted the event and designated Make-A-Wish® Orange County and the Inland Empire as the beneficiary. Historically, this marks the fifth year the Lobsterfest At Newport Beach will grant a local child’s wish.
In April of 2013, The Lobsterfest Foundation was recognized as 501 c (3) Non-profit Corporation by the State of California and now has its own Board of Directors. Since that time, the proceeds from the Lobsterfest have adopted the wish of four children. In 2012, Ireland M who was suffering leukemia wanted to experience Hawaii, in 2013, Luc O living with Lewis-Metabolic Disorder wanted to meet Winter the Dolphin in Florida, in 2014, Anton I, a young boy living with lymphocytic leukemia, wanted to travel to New York City with his family, and in 2015, Olivia Z who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis asked for assistance for her tuition to attend college. We will adopt another wish this evening.
Also since 2012, we have provided over $24,000.00 to the scholarship fund of Leadership Tomorrow making it possible for anyone who can benefit from the life-changing civic leadership experience can do so.
In 2014, the Lobsterfest provided a $1000.00 to New Directions for Women. As the Lobsterfest at Newport Beach grows, the Board hopes to add additional worthy charities to its support list.
Enjoy your lobster and the other activities at the Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina today. Please plan on joining us again next year and bring a friend!