St. Kevin’s 15th annual Soup’s On Fundraiser

Photo Captions and Credits: Do too many cooks spoil the broth? Not at the 15th annual Soup’s On fundraiser, where soup prep teams served up a variety of soups to about 400 diners at St. Kevin parish hall. The participants, shown in this group photo, represented Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Blessed Trinity, Confederation, Eastdale, Lakeshore Catholic, and Notre Dame high schools and The Lunch Lady,a local small business. The event is a fundraiser for the St. Kevin Social Justice Scholarship. Eight soups were on the menu. Joe Barkovich/WELLAND TRIBUNE

In 15 years of running Soup’sOn!, the event at St. Kevin’s church hall has never failed to sell out of tickets.

Organizer Joe Barkovich attributes the fundraising event’s ongoing success to the talented young chefs who participate.

“We have great soup made by people who are committed to making good soup, and that holds tremendous appeal in the community,” Barkovich said in an interview following the event held in the Niagara Street church hall Friday, January 27.

“It’s the participation of all these soup prep teams and the great job they do year after year,” Barkovich said.

This year, students from Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Grimsby; Confederation, Eastdale and Notre Dame secondary schools in Welland; Lakeshore Catholic High School in Port Colborne; the Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College and local business Stephanie the Lunch Lady prepared eight delicious soups for the event.

Barkovich said the chefs “come up with great soups and people have come to expect that.”

A few examples of their work this year included French-Canadian fava bean soup — described by Confederation culinary arts teacher Mathieu Cyr as a favourite among residents of the Charlevoix area of Québec, where people have been growing the bean for more than 200 years — and Algonquin succotash soup prepared by Niagara College students specifically for the event.

There was also enough variety on the menu to suit most tastes.

The informal atmosphere in the church hall helps ensure it’s a fun time for more than 400 people who sit to sip during three seatings throughout the day.

It’s an opportunity for people to see old friends they haven’t seen for awhile, Barkovich said.

Another aspect of the event that keeps people coming back is the cost of tickets. In all the years since the event began, he said, tickets have remained at $10 each.

“It’s never our intention to increase it, because we don’t need any more money from this event,” Barkovich said.

Soup’sOn! is held to allow the church’s social justice scholarship committee to award St. Kevin Social Justice Scholarships to graduating students at local high schools. The $10 tickets provide enough money to accomplish that goal. As result of the efforts of volunteers who have run Soup’sOn! since it began in 2003, the committee has been able to provide scholarships to about 70 students who have demonstrated a passion for social justice issues.

Published under the title Soup-er event sells out again at St. Catharines Standard, on Sunday January 29, 2017.