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JA: Get ready to peel and eat: Tickets on sale now for annual fundraiser

Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven members prepare plates at last year's Peel ‘em and Eat ‘em Shrimp Dinner.

Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven members prepare plates at last year’s Peel ‘em and Eat ‘em Shrimp Dinner.

In just two months, more than 2,000 area residents are expected to descend on the Brookhaven Recreation Department for the 28th annual Peel ‘em and Eat ‘em Shrimp Dinner, the flagship fundraiser for Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven.

All money raised is used to fund the group’s many community service projects, such as Wish Tree, clothes closets at school, Healthy You health fair, Reality World and several scholarships. This year JA will also be working to bring games for special needs children back to the community.

Amy Mason, shrimp dinner chair, said JA adopted the project from St. Francis after the school was closed. The St. Francis fundraiser had become a community event, and many wanted to see it continue. Meanwhile, JA was looking for a major fundraiser, and the shrimp dinner seemed like a perfect fit.

Since then the project has grown to today’s size, which includes the contribution of more than 2,000 volunteer hours and 5,000 pounds of shrimp.

Photo submitted Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven Peel ‘em and Eat ‘Em Shrimp Dinner Committee members are (front, from left) Miranda Smith, Amy Mason, Natalie Ybarra; (second row) Jasmine Wilson, Valarie Oglesby; (third row) Jennifer Towsend, Caitie Boatwright and April Matthews.

Photo submitted
Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven Peel ‘em and Eat ‘Em Shrimp Dinner Committee members are (front, from left) Miranda Smith, Amy Mason, Natalie Ybarra; (second row) Jasmine Wilson, Valarie Oglesby; (third row) Jennifer Towsend, Caitie Boatwright and April Matthews.

The chapter not only benefits from ticket sales, but also from the gracious patrons in the area.

“We receive a tremendous amount of support from business and individuals,” Mason said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

For anyone hoping to jump on board as a patron, contact patron chair Miranda Smith at 601-941-5650.

Mason, who is originally from the Coast, said when she first heard of Shrimp Dinner, she was skeptical.

“I’m a self-proclaimed shrimp aficionado,” she said. “I never thought I’d get good shrimp north of I-10.”

All it took was one taste for Mason to realize she had been wrong.

For those who are new to the experience or those looking to continue with the tradition, tickets are now on sale for $15. The plates include boiled shrimp, baked potato salad, corn on the cob, crackers, butter and cocktail sauce.

The event will be held Oct. 15 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Brookhaven Recreation Department. The event will also feature the Sweet Shoppe bake sale, which will include a variety of delicious homemade cakes and other sweets.

JA President Valarie Oglesby said neither Shrimp Dinner nor JA’s community projects could be possible without the support of the community.

“Without their endless support, it would be impossible to achieve our project goals and assist with numerous behind the scene efforts to serve our precious children in Lincoln County,” she said. “Every Shrimp Dinner plate purchased is truly making a difference in a child’s life right here in Brookhaven. Thank you for your continued support.”

For information about getting tickets contact Amy Mason at amason@cspire.com or 601-906-8665.  For more information about Junior Auxiliary of Brookhaven, like them on Facebook.