"In 1969, Father Tally Jarret asked Margot Beuthin to "plan a benefit of some kind which will not be a fashion "show." Margot's husband Ed was in Terre Haute, Indiana on a consulting job. Margot joined him for several months and they attended St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. While attending a meeting they heard St. Stephen's plan of selling fresh, live Maine lobsters from their kitchen. Bells rang, whistles blew and an idea for a Christ Church benefit was born!
An ideal set-up would be the Christ Church Hunt Memorial Patio. A New England fair - in the Nevada desert - this had a great deal of sales appeal in print.
The seemingly wild idea was presented to the Vestry: convert the patio into an atmosphere of the Maine seashore. Use a small sail boat and nets in the fountain. Create specialty, cheese, wine and bread shops. Pre-sell lobster tickets using newspaper ads for both live and cooked. The vestry had visions of countless squirmy critters on hand but the lobster fair committee was strong of faith and sold all tickets in advance."
Over the years the Lobster Fair has taken the hearts, minds and physical efforts of so many members of Christ Church. The chairmen and chairladies are to be lauded for bravely taking command and steering this Ship of Faith: The Beuthin’s; The William’s, The Miller’s; The Dunnam’s; The Hargrave’s; The White’s; The Reynolds’; The Hover’s; The Augustin’s; The Rue’s; The McFadden’s; The Jordan’s; The Fosse’s; The Kesner’s; The Carroll’s; The Spencer’s; The Rembert’s; The Confer’s; and The Graham’s. And, of course, all the many helpers, too numerous to list. Blessings on those whose names are not listed. Take heart - the Lord knows of your service!
This "money-maker" was devised to use the profit to benefit Christ Church's Debt Retirement and Restoration Fund. (We did retire the Christ Church debt temporarily, but the Restoration Fund is an on-going fund.) Later on the Lobster Fair became a way to share one-half of the profit with non-profit organizations who are always searching for ways to further their outreach. Over the years the Lobster Fair has netted $232,107.40 and returned $115,392.08 to those good works of non-profit groups. Once again Christ Church has reached the point where its own health must be attended. If 40 some year old buildings are to retain a viable life, that life must be constantly resuscitated. Painting, repairing of walls and floors, lighting fixtures, locks on doors, and machinery that makes the many daily chores doable for such a large plant have to be funded. None of the profit is used to pay clergy or maintenance salaries, utilities, guards or programs of any sort! Common sense dictates that until such time as the Endowment Fund can be tapped into, "benefits" such as the Lobster Fair may be the only way to keep the heart of Christ Church beating.
Since the 2008 economic downturn, the Lobster Fair proceeds support the following: