Here come the slugs

Lions offer blackberry delight to benefit local causes.

The end of summer means not only are area students preparing to put away their carefree days, but slugs are returning to the Bremerton boardwalk as they sweeten the 19th annual Blackberry Festival, which begins today.

The blackberry slugs are basically long “doughnut” bars, filled with blackberry filling and dusted with powdered sugar, explained Bremerton Central Lions Club past president Carolyn McClurkan.

“When the Blackberry Festival started, the planning committee asked the Lions to come up with a ‘blackberry’ idea, and Lion Ida Malone was the originator of the idea,” McClurkan said.

That tradition has become one of the hallmarks of the three-day festival, which draws an estimated 50,000 people to downtown Bremerton each year.

While festival-goers may enjoy the sinful sweetness of the slugs, satisfying their sweet tooth pays big dividends for numerous community organizations, which receive support from the Lions.

“One-third of the proceeds go to the Lions’ Northwest Center for Sight and Hearing, as their hearing contribution,” she said. “Two-thirds go back to the community for projects like Corey’s Day on the Farm, YMCA, and Lion projects such as Camp Leo and Leader Dogs for the Blind.”

It takes about 40 Lions to make the endeavor a success, and as they have for almost the past two decades, Lions keep stepping up to help the community, she said.

As one of the veterans of the effort, McClurkan said she looks forward to the festival and the sale each and every year.

“For me, it’s a great way to support Bremerton in its revitalization efforts, a fun way to raise money for worthy causes and great fellowship with fellow Lions,” she said.

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