As he hoisted the coveted Souper Bowl into the air with triumph, Michael Owen signalled the official launch of the 2017 Brock United Way campaign.
The Dean of Education emerged victorious at Wednesday’s Souper Star Lunch, with the spicy African chicken soup he served up claiming the top spot in the hearts —or stomachs — of the 160 hungry faculty and staff who attended the sold-out event in Market Hall.
The friendly competition pairs Faculty deans with chefs, who put their culinary prowess to the test in support of the organization that aids more than 70 local programs and special initiatives in St. Catharines, Thorold, Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln and Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The winning soup was prepared by Sodexo chef Jim Harper.
Other soups competing for the trophy were potato leek, chicken noodle, roasted apple and pumpkin, minestrone and Nordic rock hen pho.
Brock’s United Way committee announced this year’s fundraising goal of $145,000 at the event, while encouraging employees to fill out their payroll contribution pledge forms and return them to Human Resources to help achieve or surpass that objective.
President Gervan Fearon welcomed faculty and staff and thanked volunteers and donors for their support of United Way. The Souper Star Lunch, he said, was a moment for Brock employees to not only raise awareness of United Way’s critical work, but to also bond over the potential that exists for the University to make a substantial impact.
Donations help United Way to spearhead initiatives that aim to move people out of poverty, encourage children and youth to reach their full potential and enhance the quality of life of adults with disabilities and those in crisis.
Over the past 15 years, the Brock University community has raised more than $1.5 million for United Way and is consistently named as one of United Way’s top three employee campaigns.
Prior to the Souper event, a flag-raising ceremony was held in front of Brock University in support of United Way. The organization’s flag will fly for a week in the field in front of Schmon Tower.
“We should be proud of what we have accomplished so far as a community,” said Sandy Howe, Brock’s United Way Committee Co-Chair. “With the continued support of our current donors and ambassadors, we can attract new donors and grow our campaign. No donation is too small, and with several matching programs being offered, the impact of people’s donation can double or even triple.”
As well as supporting local initiatives, donations can be allocated to any United Way chapter or to a specific charity of an employee’s choosing.
Incentive prizes will be awarded weekly during the campaign. One of several Brock employees to pledge their donation to United Way in advance of the kick-off event, Karen Merritt from Human Resources won a raffle for an Antipastos gift basket.
The Souper Star lunch is first of several activities that will support United Way during the Brock campaign, which runs until the end of November.
Charity Brock Badgers Volleyball Game — Brock Badgers vs. Niagara College Knights
Date: Thursday, Oct. 19
Time and location: Women at 6 p.m. and men at 8 p.m., Bob Davis Gym
Cost: $5 for youth and students, and $10 general admission
Tickets may be purchased at the Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk or at the door.
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 31
Time and location: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Walker Sports Complex
Cost: One 50-minute time slot for $10
All fitness levels are welcome. Halloween costumes are encouraged (but not required) and best costume prizes will be awarded. E-mail Eric Walter, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Date: Friday, Nov. 10
Time and location: 6 to 10 p.m., Club Roma
Cost: A $25 ticket includes a pasta dinner and silent auction. Cash bar will also be available and desserts can be purchased by donation.
Register as a team of eight or as an individual.