Teamwork and good defense are assets on the soccer field, but they also work at a crab feed.

Just ask the El Cerrito High girls soccer team, which applied those skills at the annual crab feed held Jan. 25 at El Cerrito Community Center by the Albany-El Cerrito Exchange Club to find a lost diamond ring.

The club has held the feast for some 30 years and for a number of years proceeds have benefited the Gaucho girls soccer team, whose members help out at the event.

Crab feeds are messy affairs, involving bibs and lots of cracked shells and claws that are hauled away during the course of the evening.

"In the middle of the feed everyone is eating a bunch of crab and of course there are crab shells all over the place," and Exhange Club member Joe Deville. "We were having a good time and things were running so smoothly and of course something had to happen."

What happened was that attendee Kathy Boak noticed her wedding ring was missing and began to search the floor of the community center, with others helping to look around the facility without success.

Boak, whose husband Ron is retired from the El Cerrito police force, concluded the ring must have slipped off while she was throwing crab shells into a garbage bag,


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"The El Cerrito High girls soccer team swung into action," Deville said. "They went out to the truck in the parking lot where all the garbage bags were and started digging through them. They spread a tarp and had a light and they were going through it like it was a crime scene."

Teammates sifted through bag after messy bag, coming up empty until there was just one sack of refuse left to search. And that's where they found the ring.

"Ron and Kathy were very excited and thankful," Deville said.

At its meeting last week the club donated $3,500 to the team, as it had already planned, "But I think this makes it a little more special," Deville said. "The girls work really hard and the parents are fantastic."

CLUB GALA: The 31st annual Grizzly Peak Fly Fishers auction and gala fundraiser is set for 6 p.m. March 15 at the Kensington Community Center 59 Arlington Ave.

The event benefits the volunteer-based club's outreach to about 900 East Bay students through its Trout in the Classroom program and its support of local and national fishery conservation groups.

The evening includes a social hour, dinner (you may bring your own wine) and live auction. For tickets and details go to www.grizzlypeakflyfishers.org and click the link under "Latest News," or contact Linda Friedman at lindabf@comcast.net.

The club welcomes fly fishers of all skills and backgrounds as members.

CERRITO CLASSIC: Judy Garland graces the big screen in the 1944 Technicolor musical "Meet Me in St. Louis," the next entry in the monthly Cerrito Classics series at 7 p.m. March 13 at the Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, 10070 San Pablo Ave.

"The incomparable Judy Garland was at the top of her form in just four years after the triumph of "The Wizard of Oz,"' notes the Friends of the Cerrito Theatre, which hosts the classics series.

All seats are $8 for the showing, available in advance at the box office. Details: 510) 273-9102.

cal sculpture events: Acclaimed Oakland sculptor and UC Berkeley alumnus Bruce Beasley is the focus of two events this weekend.

Beasley will return to the Cal campus for a free talk on "Reflections on Berkeley and a 55-year career as an artist" at 4 p.m. March 7 at the Townsend Center, Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall. Details: arts.berkeley.edu/events/beasley.html.

  • A companion event is a Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association art walk looking at sculptures on the UC Berkeley campus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 9. "From Bears to Beasleys: A Century of Public Art on the U.C. Berkeley Campus" will be led by Beasley and historian Steve Finacom.

    "Beasley and Finacom will share the intricate history of outdoor art on the campus, from a larger-than-life bust of Abraham Lincoln to a bevy of golden bears, allegorical New Deal mosaics, and a set of silvery rings 'floating' in a reflecting pool."

    The cost is $25 per person and spaces are limited. Details: berkeleyheritage.com.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.