‘It was legit Louisiana flavor!’: United Way hosts annual crawfish boil after a 3-year hiatus

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United Way of Cullman County Executive Director Waid Harbison and Young Professionals Board Member Jordan Stricklin serve up crawfish and sides Friday, March 24, 2023, at the United Way of Cullman County Crawfish Boil at Goat Island Brewing. (Cayla Grace Murphy for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. –The sun was warm and bright and the crawfish deliciously fresh and spicy at Goat Island Brewing Friday afternoon, March 24. The bayou-bred team from Hank’s Sports Bar boiled crawfish, shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn on-site as a fundraiser hosted by United Way of Cullman County’s (UWCC’s) Young Professionals Board- the first crawfish boil fundraiser it has hosted since COVID-19. 

Said UWCC Executive Director Waid Harbison, “COVID-19 was a very difficult time for United Way. We were unable to have a lot of our big events like Day of Caring, Stuff the Bus and many other long-term things we had done for the community.”  

Harbison said that by missing these major events, UWCC also missed out on key opportunities to fund its mission of increasing education, health and income stability. 

Harbison proudly noted the partnerships he grew through the planning and execution of Friday’s event. “We sold about 150 tickets, which was all profit due to our amazing partnership with the guys at Hanks Sports Bar & Rumors Deli. They provided and cooked all the crawfish as well as the shrimp, to-go boxes and other items. Additionally, we could not have done it without the donation of all the vegetables from Josh Speakman and the guys at the Brandin’ Iron, as well as Goat Island Brewing for letting us host the event there.” 

Jordan Stricklin, a newer member of UWCC’s Young Professionals Board, mentioned that it was refreshing to see the community come together and support each other with United Way as a conduit, sharing, “I am looking forward to seeing how this community makes a difference through United Way.” 

Campaign Chair of UWCC Board of Directors Brian Poole declared, “It was a perfect night at Goat Island Brewing, who graciously provided the venue, with great music supplied by Gin Town Station and Nitrate City.” Poole also bragged on the ownership and staff of Hank’s Sports Bar, saying, “They showed up and showed out. It was legit Louisiana flavor that got better with every pot that came off the boil!” 

Per Poole, “If you missed the boil, don’t worry! We will be back in 2024, even bigger and better than before.” 

For more information on the UWCC, visit their website.

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