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After two years of serving up soup for a good cause in Salmon Arm, Enactus Okanagan College students found the recipe for success in expanding their Soup's On fundraising initiative to Kelowna and Vernon this year, raising more than $5,200 in support of local social service providers.
The inaugural Soup’s On Vernon took place at Okanagan Spirits' Vernon location on Thursday, April 27. More than 100 people turned out to sample some of the finest soups and spirits in the region at the sold out event. Basket Case Picnics produced a Thai soup that garnered the most votes, narrowly edging out second-place finisher Kal's Naan Stop and third-place finisher Kal Sports Bar. More than $4,000 was raised, with proceeds benefiting the Upper Room Mission and Enactus Okanagan College students.
“We could not have achieved this success without incredible support from community members and local business owners,” said event organizer Mitch Pepper, VP of Enactus Okanagan College at the Vernon Campus. “A special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Prospera Credit Union, and to Okanagan Spirits for providing the beautiful venue and drinks.”
“Soup’s On was a blast,” said Kelsey Galt, owner of Basket Case Picnics. “The Enactus team blew us away with such a well put together event. It was a pleasure to be there supporting the fundraising effort and it was an honour to be awarded first place. We can't wait for next year.”
Two days later the soup was back on, this time in the Centre for Learning at the College’s Kelowna campus, where attendees had a chance to sample and vote for their favourite bowl from 14 of the city’s top chefs at the inaugural Soup’s On Kelowna event. The winning soup was a Thai Pumpkin Curry by Chef April Roy of Train Station Pub. More than $1,200 was raised in support of the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank and Enactus Okanagan College students.
Nobody was more pleased with the response to both events than Alexandra Jacques, a second-year business student who spearheaded the Kelowna and Vernon expansion after being a driving force behind Soup’s On in Salmon Arm for the past two years.
“I am blown away with all the positive feedback we have been receiving from people who attended and businesses who supported the events,” said Jacques. “We are deeply grateful to them and also would not have been able to pull this off without the help of other Enactus OC students and faculty advisors.”
Based on the strong community support for the events, Jacques said Enactus Okanagan College hopes to be able to run the events annually in Kelowna and Vernon, in addition to Salmon Arm.
“These events are a lot of work to organize, on top of a busy course load, but it's something I am very passionate about and thrilled to be a part of. I'm already planning for the second annual Soup's On in Kelowna!”
Jacques’ optimism about the future of Soup’s On is echoed by Dr. Kyleen Myrah, a professor with the Okanagan College School of Business and mentor with Enactus OC.
“We are so proud of our students for realizing their vision and bringing Soup’s On to two more communities this year,” said Myrah. “Thanks to their hard work and dedication, I expect Soup’s On will continue to grow and develop as a wonderful way to engage the community, showcase local culinary talents and benefit worthy causes.”