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      Crawfish festival benefits many in need

      T housands of people were out enjoying southern music, crawfish and some much needed sunshine at the annual crawfish festival at Clinton Square in Syracuse. This was all to benefit a worthy cause.

      Clifford Bell volunteers with the festival. "It is the first event of the year so a lot of people are trying to get out and do something like this," says Bell.

      Eight years ago Norm Andrzejewski saw his family's home washed away in Hurricane Katrina. "The first visit was mind boggling. There was devastation all over the place," says Andrejewski.

      He started this festival and the volunteer group southern comfort to help raise money for Katrina relief. Southern and their sister group northern comfort, are working together at this clambake to bring more than fifty thousand dollars to Louisiana and New York State.

      Dick Bonanno is a volunteer with Northern comfort. "This is a terrific community a giving community and this is a way to really help a lot of folks," says Bonanno.

      Today's festival isn't only about helping those hit by hurricanes, but also to lend a helping hand to those who need it most who have served in our military. Northern Comfort will use money raised today to help homeless veterans in Auburn by restoring the case mansion so they have somewhere to call home.

      "We decided to start doing this kind of work here in Central New York to help folks out that need help. Either they don't have the money or they don't have the physical ability to do it," says Bonanno.