The results are in from the Red Cross’ annual Soup’s On fundraiser which took place on Friday, November 1st at the Grand Meridian in Appleton. A new concept for the event named the “High School Challenge” helped the chapter raise a record $50,000 for local programming.
It was the 20th year for Soup’s On but the first year in which 10 area high schools were invited to work with a restaurant/chef as a team. Each team aimed to win the Platinum Ladle Trophy for the best-tasting soup of the night.
The high school students were also encouraged to campaign for votes prior to event night where one vote equaled a one dollar donation to the Red Cross. The school with the most “votes” would receive a $1,000 grant to purchase new cooking equipment for their culinary classroom.
“The High School Challenge was just what Soup’s On needed to bring it back to life,” said Becky Bergin, Director of Special Events for the American Red Cross in Northeast Wisconsin. “The students added so much fun and excitement to the evening. And wow, can they all cook! Every soup was great and we received a lot of good feedback from our event guests.”
The teams and the soups that were created for the event were as follows:
- Appleton East High School and Café Bon Appétit of Lawrence University made Pozole
- Appleton North High School and Mark’s East Side made Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup
- Appleton West High School and Grand Meridian made Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Fox Valley Lutheran and Pullman’s made Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- Green Bay Preble and Big Tomatoes made Preble’s Chorizo Chili
- Hortonville High School and Ione’s Dining Room of Fox Valley Technical College made Buffalo Chicken Chili
- Kaukauna High School and The Kangaroost made Baked Potato Soup
- Little Chute High School and The Main Event Steakhouse made LC Chinese Chowder
- Neenah High School and Cannova’s Pizzeria made Pumpkin Soup with Rocket Relish
- Xavier High School and Atlas Coffee Mill and Café made Curry Apple Soup
Throughout the evening, each guest was able to vote for their favorite soup. The Kaukauna High School/The Kangaroost team took home the Platinum Ladle Trophy for their Baked Potato Soup.
As for the new fundraising component, Appleton West was crowned the winner and recipient of the $1,000 cash award for raising $1,661.01 for the American Red Cross. Appleton North came in at a very close second, winning the runner-up prize of a Kitchen Aid professional mixer. All told, student fundraising from the 10 high schools brought in over $8,800.
“It was a very exciting evening for the kids,” said Lauren Ott, family consumer sciences teacher at Appleton West High School. “They loved working with the chef and got first-hand experience cooking in a real commercial kitchen. They got to use different equipment that we don’t get to use in the classroom.”
“Events like Soup’s On are absolutely vital in raising funding to support our programs and services,” Bergin added. “They are also a great way to introduce those unfamiliar with what we do, to our mission of providing emergency relief and teaching emergency preparedness. We can’t thank our sponsors, the schools, the restaurants and our volunteers enough for making our 20th Anniversary of Soup’s On SOUP-ERB!!!”