Annual Abalone Dinner displays awesome community effort in Tahoe City | SierraSun.com

Annual Abalone Dinner displays awesome community effort in Tahoe City

Christine Dale
Special to the Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; Usually communities fundraise by having special events, such as spaghetti dinners or pancake breakfasts, or selling products, like cookie dough or spring bulbs. Not the community of Tahoe City.

For the 14th year the annual Bud Davis Memorial Abalone Dinner took place at Wolfdaleand#8217;s Restaurant on Sept. 27. Many may think it is merely a delectable, successful dinner that proceeds diverse local organizations each year. While it is in fact both delicious and lucrative the abalone fundraiser goes way beyond normalcy. Before last year I was guilty in thinking it was merely a traditional fundraiser, but I was wrong. The amount of work and risk to make this fundraiser happen is truly unimaginable.

In preparation for the 13th annual Abalone Dinner I joined the divers such as; Nancy Davis, Tom Lovely and Bill and#8220;Sandyand#8221; Sandeman, to dive for the first time. After driving six hours up the coast to Sea Ranch, Calif., it was time to dive. Arriving well-equipped with a fishing license and an abalone diving card I suited-up from head-to-toe in overpriced rental scuba gear. I was ready to go in the ocean and simply get my quota of three abalone for the day. Well not exactly, thinking it would be and#8220;simpleand#8221; was definitely an understatement. Not only was it hard work in the choppy, kelp-infested waters, but it was extremely dangerous. Without the help of the skilled Tahoe City divers I may have never attempted it.

This experience made me realize how much work, effort, and chance the local divers take in doing this community event each year. The abalone divers deserve a huge thank you, as the annual abalone dinner would not be possible without them.

This year when the divers returned from Sea Ranch the fundraiser was bound to be a success with the amount of abalone brought back to Wolfdaleand#8217;s Restaurant, where 170 reservations were already booked. At 9 a.m. sharp, with many volunteers from the benefiting organizations, Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association and Tahoe City Abalone Dinner Memorial Sculpture, the shucking, cleaning and pounding began in the Wolfdaleand#8217;s kitchen with Chef/Diver Douglas Dale. Around 3 p.m. the line and prep cooks arrived at Wolfdaleand#8217;s to begin the preparations of creating a delicious evening with the innovative menu of: Asian salad and tomato soup; sauteed abalone with celery root mashed potatoes, coleslaw and tartar sauce; and fresh strawberry and golden raspberry shortcake.

As the night went very smoothly for the staff of Wolfdaleand#8217;s and Rombauer Winery it was a very successful Abalone Dinner with serving 210 people. Again many thanks goes out to the courageous divers of Tahoe City, Wolfdaleand#8217;s Restaurant and Rombauer Winery for making this event possible for our community. I will always think of this fundraiser as heroic!

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and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com