(Photo: JEREMIAH WILSON/ TCPALM)

SEBASTIAN — Running with the clams will be theme this year when the 2017 Sebastian Clambake Festival returns to Riverview Park from Nov. 3-5 with its new catchphrase “America Runs on Clams.”

Gina Belli, of Roseland, won the slogan contest for the second time with “America Runs on Clams,” which will be the central theme on this year's clambake T-shirts designed by local artist Lisanne Robinson. Her entry was one of 87 submissions to the Clambake Foundation. In 2006, Belli submitted “One Good Clam Deserves Another.”

“As always, there were some really clever submissions to the contest,” said Clambake Foundation President Anjani Cirillo. “People started submitting their ideas during last year’s event and continued suggesting them online via the clambake’s website.”

The Clambake Foundation members’ council approved program grants for seven organizations that applied including SOS Cookies; Sebastian River High School’s Chum Bucket program; The Prasad food program; the River Fund; United Methodist Church’s Music Camp; the Ecumenical Food Pantry; and the GFWC Sebastian Jr. Woman’s Club’s Science Camp.


(Photo: SAM WOLFE/SPECIAL TO TCPALM)

The Clambake Foundation members’ council approved 2017 program grants for seven organizations that applied including SOS Cookies; Sebastian River High School’s Chum Bucket program; The Prasad food program; the River Fund; United Methodist Church’s Music Camp; the Ecumenical Food Pantry; and the GFWC Sebastian Jr. Woman’s Club’s Science Camp. 

Other beneficiaries who will share in the Clambake profits for capital improvement grants will go to the Economic Opportunities Council (Head Start); the Ecumenical Food Pantry; Treasure Coast Rugby Foundation; St. Sebastian Catholic Church; Sebastian Soccer Association; Kashi Ashram; and Sebastian River High School Crew, Inc. Amounts of the grants will be determined after the Clambake’s income and expenses are tabulated.

Cirillo said beneficiaries are chosen by the Clambake Foundation’s members’ council after a careful review of all applications.

"Our Board of Directors is very grateful to the members' council for their careful consideration of the proposals,” Cirillo said. “We are all excited to be able to help so many groups who do so much for Sebastian. We would also like to encourage our local businesses to participate as sponsors for this year's festival to help us raise money for our beneficiaries."

The clambake, founded in 2002, seeks to build community spirit by focusing attention on the Indian River Lagoon and its importance to life in Sebastian. Since its inception, the clambake has raised more than $600,000 for local charities, according to their website.