A simple meal of soup and bread together with friends can foster a sense of community.
At the Waunakee Public Library, such a meal is intended to do just that and raise funds for the library.
The Friends of the Waunakee Public Library have organized a Souper Bowl from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 13, where soup will be served in hand-crafted bowls made by Waunakee High School Art Club students that community members can take home.
Friends of the Library member Sue Manske said she thought about organizing such an event after seeing a similar fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. She met with Faith Graf, president of Habitat for Humanity, a registered student organization that organizes a Souper Bowl for Habitat at the UW-Madison, to learn how they pull off such an event.
“The reason we think this is a good idea, it will raise funds, and the event will bring the community together,” Manske said.
After Manske met with the Waunakee High School’s Art Club advisor, Julie Gross, students got the bowls rolling.
“She was delighted to do this,” Manske said about Gross. “This is just a great coming together of the community, the high school and the library.”
Gross said she thought the students enjoyed working on projects that had an actual purpose once they were completed.
Local restaurants are also involved. So far, M-N-M’s Coffeehouse, Rex’s Innkeeper, Kwik Trip, Guilty Café, Boston’s Pizza and other local businesses, along with others from the region, have agreed to provide soup. Milio’s will donate the bread.
Jean Elvekrog, president of the Friends group, said she had read an article about a similar event in a Kenosha newspaper and learned that with restaurants donating soup, the event became like a contest.
“It’s just a good cooperative effort,” Elvekrog added.
Thrivent Financial Services and Friends member Carol Lorenz provided funds to purchase condiments, and members of the Friends organization will serve meals.
No tickets are required for the Souper Bowl, which takes place on a Sunday. The library is closed Sundays, so only the Community Room, where the meal will be served, will be open. Debit and credit cards will not be accepted.
The cost for the meal is $15 and includes soup, salad, bread, a beverage and dessert, all donated by area restaurants and businesses. Special pricing is offered for families of four or more.
“Affordability and bringing the community together, that’s what we hope to present,” Manske said.
Waunakee students have created about 100 bowls, so those who wish to take one of these homes may want to arrive early. After all the ceramic bowls are purchased, soup will be served in biodegradable paper bowls.