“SOUPer Wednesday” feeds public, ACS’ accessible vehicle fund



By Ron Giofu


Thirteen participants from Amherstburg, LaSalle, McGregor and Harrow went head-to-head last Wednesday to see who had the best soup.

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) held its fourth annual “SOUPer” Wednesday fundraiser at the Columbus Community Hall with Seasons Amherstburg and their mushroom chowder emerging as this year’s winner.

A total of 184 people attended this year’s “SOUPer Wednesday” with over $4,000 raised. The non-profit agency says that is a record amount.

That dollar figure also includes ACS’ $1,370 share from the 50/50 draw.

“People have been very enthusiastic,” said ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo. “The weather has been co-operated. It’s great soup-eating weather. The restaurants have been fantastic once again.”

DiBartolomeo said people get excited for the event every year.

“Every year, the restaurants provide their wonderful soups,” she said. “Our guests are just anxious to try it. I think it’s almost becoming a bit of a tradition for some. We saw lots of faces there who have been at every ‘SOUPer Wednesday’ since its inception and that really says something.”

Seasons Amherstburg won the fourth annual “SOUP-er Wednesday” fundraising event held last Wednesday at the Columbus Community Hall. It was presented by Amherstburg Community Services (ACS). From left: Beau Velduis and Heather Vandenham from Seasons Amherstburg and ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo.

Word-of-mouth is spreading, she added, and new people are also starting to come to the event. It is also “a great social event” because people get to talk, re-connect and visit with one another.

“This year is special because we are putting out the call for our new accessible vehicle,” said DiBartolomeo.

ACS had to pull one of its accessible buses off the road and is actively fundraising and seeking donations for a new one.

Other participants and their soups included Armando’s Amherstburg and their chicken tortilla soup, the Artisan Grill and their lobster bisque, the Beacon Ale House and their potato dill soup, the Dalhousie Bistro and their roasted winter vegetable,, Gilligan’s Fire Grill in Amherstburg and their cheeseburger soup, the Knights of Columbus and their chicken vegetable, Dock 21 and their potato bacon cabbage, LA Town Grill and their roasted red pepper, Maria’s and their beefy tomato macaroni, Smashed Apple Catering and Takeout with their curry chicken, Speck’s and their cabbage roll soup and the 19th Hole at Wildwood with their turkey dumpling soup.

David Languedoc from The Dalhousie Bistro dishes out some of his roasted winter vegetable soup during “SOUPer Wednesday.”

ACS’ Meals on Wheels kitchen also offered their Italian ravioli soup but that wasn’t an official entry and could not be voted on.

“Every year, this event gets bigger and better,” said DiBartolomeo. “It gives the chefs a chance to talk directly to their clients about their soups.”

One of those chefs was Beau Velduis from Seasons. He said it was their first time in the competition.

“We’re just happy to be part of the event,” he said. “There were a lot of fantastic soups. I don’t know how we were selected. We’ll be back next year.”

Artisan Grill owner Matthew Johnston said he likes being a part of the “SOUPer Wednesday event.

“As a restaurant owner, I look forward to it every year,” said Johnston. “Not once have I tried a soup that wasn’t amazing. It’s great fun and a great cause and I would always want to be involved in it.”

Phil Medler, one of those who attended, said that he is already excited for next year’s event.

Chloe DiPasquale and Lindsay Wandeloski from Gilligan’s Fire Grill dish out cheeseburger soup.

“This year, everything was excellent,” said Medler. “The variety of was really good and it was really hard to pick my favourite soup. This was my second year here and I certainly plan on coming back next year.”

The ACS “SOUPer Wednesday” takes place every February. This year’s event will see all funds go towards the purchase of a new accessible vehicle. It was sponsored by John D’Alimonte and Kim Wheeler RE/MAX Preferred Realty, Seasons Amherstburg, Dollars and Cents Investments Inc., and Tino’s Auto Service.

ACS’ next event will be the Spring Wine ‘n Hop, scheduled for May 9.

For more information on the services ACS offers or to make a donation towards the accessible vehicle, call 517-736-5471, visit their office at 179 Victoria St. S. or check out their website at www.amherstburg-cs.com.

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