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Crackin’ Up: Laguna Honda Crab Feed Fundraiser

It was a rollicking good time on Friday out at the Irish Cultural Center when Supervisor Sean Elsbernd hosted his 2nd annual Crab Feed Fundraiser.

“Well the first one was actually for my re-election campaign,” said Elsbernd, laughing. “But  this year supports one of the great, city-wide institutions in District 7 -- Laguna Honda Hospital.”

Laguna Honda functions under the auspices of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Founded in 1866, this hospital and rehabilitation center is the largest skilled nursing care facility of its kind in the country and provides care for the most vulnerable in our community.

10 years ago, voters approved a $299 million bond to rebuild the historic 62-acre campus on Twin Peaks. While scheduled to be unveiled in Spring 2010, the construction costs have more than doubled. And Elsbernd hopes his fundraiser might help re-ignite the Foundation’s goal of getting back on its feet.

As an EssEff native, Elsbernd grew up attending crab feed fundraisers -- for schools and parishes and anything else in between -- with his parents. In fact, Elsbernd was scheduled the next night for yet another crab feed at Saint Thomas More School where his father, Joe Elsbernd, serves as principal.

Jennifer Elsbernd and her husband, Supervisor Sean Elsbernd at the Laguna Honda Crab Feed Fundraiser

“This might sound corny but crab feeds are a great, old San Francisco tradition,” said Elsbernd. “And I thought it might be a great tradition to introduce to my political family.”

Technically, no one was politicking. But in this particular family -- everyone’s always got their eyes on the next prize.

Hence that family turned out in force --  from longtime power players, Joe O'Donoghue and Rose Pak; as well as assorted lawyers, lobbyists, flacks and hacks to City Treasurer Jose Cisneros, Mayoral Chief of Staff Steve Kawa and Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and David Chiu, who in the very first days as a newly minted supervisor managed to grab the brass ring of Board President.

But Elsbernd stuck to his promise of no stumping: “I’m going to say, “Hello.” That’s it. Tonight is about having fun!”

However that didn’t stop the most senior-ranking political ex-officio from, graciously, taking the stage, too.

“I must say, it’s rare to see a politician willing to do anything for something other than themselves,” said former City Attorney Louise Renne to knowing laughs and loud applause.

The evening served up some impressive stats, too: 550 pounds of sweet, cracked Dungeness crab and almost $165K raised for the Laguna Honda Foundation (including $5K assists each from super San Francisco philanthropists Warren Hellman, Don and Doris Fisher and Dede Wilsey).

“Tonight continues San Francisco’s tradition of supporting those most in need,” declared Renne, who previously served on the board of Laguna Honda Volunteers. “We take care of our own.”

Check out the photos below

Former City Attorney Louise Renne and Cal Shakes Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone

Michael Lee (left) with Supervisor David Chiu and Lisa Montanino

Sean's parents, Margaret and Joe Elsbernd and his sister, Meghann Elsbernd

Joe O'Donoghue and Rose Pak

Sophie Middlebrook and her fiance Boe Hayward with Mayoral Protocol Director Matthew Goudeau

Linda Corso and Warren Hinckle

Josh White, Daniel Scherotter, Mark Kelleher, City Treasurer Jose Cisneros and Melissa White

Becca Prowda and Daniel Lurie

Dan Henkle (left) with Supervisor Sean Elsbernd and Dan's partner, Mayoral Chief of Staff Steve Kawa

Victoria Sutton and her husband, Jim Sutton

Beth Spotswood (left) with Melissa Griffin and Comcast's Director of Government Affairs Lee-Ann Peling

John Moylan and Tom Hsieh, Jr.

PJ and Karin Johnston with Jonathan Moscone

Bixby Jamison and Jenn Pitts

Danielle DuCaine, Matthew Goudeau and Allyson Hauck

The main course