The Young Professionals of Conway collected $1,400 during a community crawfish boil fundraiser over the weekend.
During the Community Crawfish Jubilee, which was held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Simon Park on Saturday, passersby and other residents were able to come together for a benefit meal while also being able to play games, listen to music and network with other community members and businesses.
The event was sponsored by the Young Professionals of Conway — a satellite group of the Conway Rotary Club that gives individuals the opportunity connect with other professionals out in the community while also providing service opportunities. The group aims at recruiting residents who are 21-40 years old to engage in community events and help provide networking opportunities to further their professional goals.
Gage Jordan, YPC's chair elect, said Saturday's event was geared toward providing "a fun community event" that also provided networking opportunities for all who attended. He said the YPC specializes in professional development, community involvement and social networking for young professionals that are starting off their career and are working their way up and that group members used Saturday's event to recruit others.
"We just wanted to have a fun event for the community, promote YPC and serve the community while we're doing it," he said, noting the group invited local sponsors, nonprofits and volunteer organizations to the event.
Crawfish Cares — a local group that provides catering services while donating a portion of their earned proceeds to nonprofit organizations — catered the event.
Edison Sullivan, Crawfish Cares owner and Deliver Hope mentor coordinator, said a percentage of Saturday's profits went toward Deliver Hope — a group who mentors and ministers to teens in tough places. The funds raised over the weekend would go toward the group's mentor program.
"Whenever a mentor has a flat tire or death in the family, we try to give them something," Sullivan said, noting Deliver Hope currently has more than 75 volunteers.
Saturday's event brought in $1,400. Jordan said $800 of that would go to Crawfish Cares, and from there, a percentage of the $800 would help fund Deliver Hope's mentor program.
During the Community Crawfish Jubilee, passersby were welcomed to eat, play games and network.
YPC board member Rebecca Hawkins attended the event with her 2-year-old son, Levi.
She said the group poses as a great networking opportunity for those wishing to build their professional careers.
A group of four — Jason and Brandi Burks, Zac Gieber and Cheyenne Meeks — collectively said they stopped by the event to enjoy the good music and some crawfish.
"This is a nice community event, the weather is great, so we stopped in for some really good crawfish," Jason said while sitting on the Kris Allen Stage and enjoying a bucket of freshly boiled crawfish.
Jordan said the remaining $600 raised during the Community Crawfish Jubilee will help support rotary club service projects and other YPC events.
Upcoming YPC events include the Toad Suck Pub Crawl.
The event, which will be from 5 to 9 p.m. in downtown Conway, will feature 45-minute stops at Fat Daddy's Bar-B-Que, Senior Tequila, Old Chicago, JJ's Grill and Kings Live Music.
Jordan said the social is free for all to attend, noting attendees would only pay "whatever you plan to spend at each spot."