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When I went back to work full time a little over three years ago, I no longer had the ability to volunteer in my son’s classroom as often as I had in the prior years (which in all honesty, was fine with my son who really enjoyed his own “space” at school!); I had to reinvent how I helped at his school because I still had a strong desire to be part of the educational experience.  I volunteered for the PTA for two years; I help decorate and/or cook for our annual school fundraiser; I do take-home projects for the teachers; I drive and attend almost all field trips. However, with my position at Nick’s Cove, I am able to do even more for the overall Petaluma schools: for the past two years I have organized a fundraiser at Nick’s Cove that pays homage to two of my passions: the opening of sport crab season and the Petaluma Educational Foundation that supports all schools in Petaluma, where my son is currently in fifth grade.

The day-long festivities include lots of delicious crab items on the Nick’s Cove menu, hand-crafted “crabby” cocktails (made from my favorite local distillery, Charbay Winery & Distillery), a chef’s demo with our Executive Chef, and a Crab Catch Contest, where participants who have their own boats head out on Tomales Bay, soak their crab pots and bring in their “catch” to vie for the title of Crab King (or Queen) for the heaviest haul.

The kids (and adults) have a blast watching the boats coming in from the chilly bay at the adjacent Miller Boat Launch, while enjoying beautiful bay views and delicious food … and I get to send a nice donation check to the Foundation to help them continue to provide resources to our under-funded schools in Petaluma. All in all – it’s a great day of fun and philanthropy!

Here we are a few weeks later … and, finally, commercial crab season is upon us! Now, everyone gets to enjoy the delicious, sweet crab of our nearby waters! So cheers to the beginning of what should be a bountiful crab season!


About Dena Grunt

As President of Hwy 1 Hospitality I oversee two spectacular properties: Nick's Cove on Tomales Bay and La Condesa Napa Valley in Saint Helena. Every day I am reminded of the simple beauty that exists in nature and am grateful to be at the helm of such unique and impressive properties. I currently reside in Petaluma with my husband and son.

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