Souper Wednesday

“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.

Third annual SOUPer Wednesday to kick-start fundraising campaign for new bus

Special to the RTT

SOUPer Wednesday could become a little more super as it kick-starts a campaign for a new vehicle.

Amherstburg Community Services, the charity which hosts the annual soup cook-off event, will be using the money raised to start a vehicle replacement fund, something executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo says is much needed to continue to provide quality services to the community.

“Some of our vehicles are aging and require near constant repair,” DiBartolomeo said, speaking about the agency’s fleet of two vans and two buses. “New vehicles aren’t cheap, but we’re confident that with great events like SOUPer Wednesday and the support of our generous community that we can do it – we have to really, for the sake of the people who rely on these vehicles.”

Poster
ACS provides transportation services to adults with mobility issues and seniors in Amherstburg, LaSalle, Harrow and McGregor.  In 2016, they provided over 7,000 rides to medical appointments, social outings, and shopping trips.  They also participate in a partnership to provide a county shuttle service for students of St. Clair College.  The cost of a new, accessible vehicle is currently quoted at $70 thousand, and ACS plans to raise that amount by the end of 2017, starting with SOUPer Wednesday and a 50/50 raffle that is running throughout the month of February, with raffle tickets available at their office.

SOUPer Wednesday, which is sponsored by the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team, costs $10 for entry and all-you-can-eat soup, and will take place at the Knights of Columbus, 150 Richmond St, Amherstburg, ON, on February 22 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at Amherstburg Community Services in Amherstburg, LA Town Grill in LaSalle, and D.o.C.K 21 in Harrow, or at the door of the event.

The participating restaurants can be found listed below:

Armando’s Amherstburg, Artisan Grill, Beacon Ale House, The Cellar, Dalhousie Bistro, D.o.C.K 21, Gilligan’s Fire Grill Amherstburg, LA Town Grill, Maria’s Restaurant, Shooters Roadhouse, Smashed Apple Takeout and Catering, Speck’s Diner, and Wildwood 19th Hole.

ACS presents second successful “SOUPer Wednesday”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg’s top soups were enjoyed by a packed house at the Amherstburg K of C Hall as part of “SOUPer Wednesday.”

Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) presented the event in partnership with 14 area restaurants. The event was a way to highlight not only the services that ACS provides, but the local restaurants as well.

“We’re pleased to have some from LaSalle and Harrow as well,” said ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo. “It’s a great way to showcase the local restaurants and what they have to offer and also to bring awareness to Amherstburg Community Services.”

Nicholas Nedin from Beacon Ale House accepts the People's Choice Award from Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo Feb. 24.

Nicholas Nedin from Beacon Ale House accepts the People’s Choice Award from Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo Feb. 24.

Participants included Armando’s, Artisan Grill, Beacon Ale House, The Cellar, Creole’s Takeout, D.o.C.K. 21 Fine Pub, Dalhousie Bistro, Gilligan’s Fire Grill, L.A. Town Grill, Lord Amherst Pub, Maria’s Restaurant, Shooters Roadhouse, Smashed Apple Catering and Speck’s Diner.

Beacon Ale House was crowned as the people’s choice award winner.

DiBartolomeo said they noticed an increased level of interest after last year’s event.

“There was a greater anticipation from customers and restaurants to participate,” she stated.

A particular service that was promoted this year was the bus service offered by ACS. DiBartolomeo noted that was focused on due to the recent closure of South Shore Taxi and the expansion of the bus service by ACS to try and fill some of that void.

Another benefit to the “SOUPer Wednesday” was the ability to work with other businesses as well. Austin Tyrrell, ACS’ community awareness and fundraising coordinator, noted that staff from the Dan Gemus Real Estate team and Re/Max were on hand to help serve soup.

The line at the SOUPer Wednesday event works its way around the K of C Hall. It was presented by Amherstburg Community Services.

The line at the SOUPer Wednesday event works its way around the K of C Hall. It was presented by Amherstburg Community Services.

“It’s basically a soup cookoff,” said Tyrrell, noting people could eat as much as they want.

Tyrrell added it was “awesome” to have 14 locally owned restaurants taking part with the ACS’ Meals on Wheels kitchen also participating, though the latter wasn’t eligible to win. A number of volunteers also helped the event, Tyrrell pointed out.

“It couldn’t have happened without all of that help,” said Tyrrell.

Tyrrell agreed with DiBartolomeo that it not only gets ACS’ name out into the public eye, but it highlights the restaurants as well.

For more information on Amherstburg Community Services and the programs offered, please call 519-736-5471 or visit www.amherstburg-cs.com.

“SOUPer Wednesday” being presented by ACS Feb. 24

 

Special to the RTT

 

Amherstburg Community Services’ SOUPer Wednesday event returns this month as 14 locally owned restaurants compete for Amherstburg’s top honour: the People’s Choice Soup of the Year.

With more restaurants and a larger selection of soups, this year’s iteration, which will take place February 24, looks to be a success as it continues to build awareness and encourage support of our region’s locally owned and operated businesses and organizations.

Meals on Wheels had one of the entrants in last year's "SOUPer Wednesday" with Darlene Menard and Sue Laprade serving it up. This year's event is scheduled for Feb. 24.

Meals on Wheels had one of the entrants in last year’s “SOUPer Wednesday” with Darlene Menard and Sue Laprade serving it up. This year’s event is scheduled for Feb. 24.

“Last year’s SOUPer Wednesday was such a huge success and we’ve been so excited to host it again this year,” said Kathy DiBartolomeo, ACS’ executive director.  “It’s always amazing to work with our local businesses, and we’re proud to put them in the spotlight with an event that showcases the unique culinary expertise and passion that’s available within our own back yards.”

SOUPer Wednesday will be taking place at the Amherstburg Knights of Columbus, located at 190 Richmond St., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Admission is $10 and will provide all-you-can-eat soup and bread rolls, as well as one dessert serving.

Take-out arrangements will be made available as well for those who are on the go.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Amherstburg Community Services at 179 Victoria St. S. or at the door during the event.

The following restaurants will be competing in this year’s SOUPer Wednesday: Armando’s, Artisan Grill, Beacon Ale House, The Cellar, Creole’s Takeout, D.o.C.K. 21 Fine Pub, Dalhousie Bistro, Gilligan’s Fire Grill, L.A. Town Grill, Lord Amherst Pub, Maria’s Restaurant, Shooters Roadhouse, Smashed Apple Catering and Speck’s Diner.

Last year was the first year for the event, with it geared towards showcasing local restaurants but also so people can get a better understanding of ACS and the programs and services offered there.

For more information on Amherstburg Community Services, call 519-736-5471 or visit www.amherstburg-cs.com.