Soup-er: Event raises $50,000 for food bank

Posted: Friday, August 31, 2007

Hundreds of people turned out for the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank's annual soup supper Saturday in Kenai, an event that raised more than $50,000, said Executive Director Linda Swarner.

"Quite successful," she said of the popular public get-together for charity held at Kenai High School. "We took in more dollars than last year, with over 350 attending the event."

The silent and outcry auctions alone raised more than $13,000, Swarner noted.

Lending a hand with the event were several local politicians.

Sen. Tom Wagoner helped with the auction and donated items for the silent auction, Swarner said.

Rep. Kurt Olson served food, Assemblyman Pete Sprague helped with raffles, and Kenai Mayor Pat Porter baked an apple pie, she added.

The event coordinators were Pam and Ron Delany, of Kenai. In an interview Wednesday, Ron said Pam had organized the auction items and coordinated the collection of funds.

"I do logistics, set up the kitchen and make sure everyone gets served," he said.

Delany credited the success of the event to the many volunteers, including students working in the kitchen, nine different organizations bringing in soup, a local truck company making moving things around easier than last year.

"People were very generous," Delany said. "We're very pleased with the event."

The supper began at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and lasted a little more than three hours. During that time, money was raised in a variety of ways other than by auction; soup cans were raffled off for charitably exorbitant sums, aprons were sold, and the Lions Club ran a split-the-pot drawing with half the money going to the food bank and the other half to the winner.

"Then with the soup that was left over we sold to-go containers for a buck a bowl," Delany said.

Mick Audette from Cold Stone Creamery served as emcee and Rev. Denver Copeland of Lighthouse Community Church was the auctioneer.

The Kenai Potters Guild was honored with a special presentation for contributions from its members.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was on the peninsula for Industry Appreciation Day celebrations, also attended the event.

A long list of major contributors included BP, Tesoro, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Agrium, Central Peninsula Hospital, Wal-Mart, Arby's, Enstar Natural Gas and a host of others.

Hal Spence can be reached at

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