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Crawdad Festival raises funds for children's medical bills for 5th straight year

KPIC photo

UMPQUA, Ore. -- Over the weekend, Douglas County residents cleaned their plates to help out local kids at the 5th Annual Crawdad Cajun Blues Festival at Henry Estate Winery.

The crawdads, also known as mudbugs, resemble small lobsters and visitors devoured them for a good cause.

The event was held in the winery's tasting room.

It benefited the Sarah Beavers Mercy Foundation Partnership Fund.

"Syndi and Scott Beavers their daughter Sarah, when she was two, had a brain tumor and they ended up with a million dollars in medical bills," says tasting room representative Shanna Kopko.

Years later the Beavers family started the fund, which helps local families pay their children's medical bills.

During the festival, crawdad eating contestants raised money for the cause, then showed the audience how fast they could eat.

Joseph Lane Middle School principal Bill Bartlett was the quickest, eating 33 crawdads in three minutes.

The benefit raised nearly $3,500.

"I just wanted to be able to provide and give back and show my gratitude for their generosity," Bartlett said.

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