A lunchtime fundraiser for United Way is expected to warm Brock employees’ stomachs and hearts.
The Souper Star Lunch returns next week after a two-year hiatus as part of the University’s annual employee workplace campaign for United Way Niagara.
Held Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Market Hall, the lunch will feature samplings of seven soups served by Faculty Deans competing for the Souper Bowl trophy. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on University Tickets. Soups include vegan and vegetarian options.
“Souper Star Lunch has always been a favourite event among Brock faculty and staff, in part because of the sense of community it offers and the light-hearted competition that ensues,” said Colleen Whyte (BRLS ’97), Brock’s United Way Campaign Faculty Co-Chair and Associate Professor with the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department. “It is a wonderful opportunity to gather in person to connect with colleagues and rally around an important cause.”
This year’s event is expected to make its biggest fundraising impact yet thanks to in-kind sponsorship from Brock’s Dining Services partner Aramark Canada. Aramark will be covering 100 per cent of the cost of the event, which means more dollars directed to United Way Niagara.
“Aramark Canada Ltd. is honoured to give back to the Brock community and the greater Niagara region as a whole through this event,” said James Chard, General Manager of Brock Dining Services. “The food service partnership between Aramark and Brock Dining Services provides us with a unique opportunity to both deliver this meaningful experience to our valued customers on campus while also supporting the United Way in its mission to strengthen local communities and ‘make better possible’ for those in need.”
Brock’s United Way Committee has set a goal to sell 200 tickets to this year’s lunch, with 65 per cent of tickets already sold. Dollars help inch towards the University’s $160,000 goal for the local charity.
“If we were able to raise $150,000 last year via a virtual campaign, I’m optimistic the return of our signature in-person events will give the boost in contribution and awareness we need to hit our goal,” said Jocelyn Titone (BBA ’07), Brock’s United Way Campaign Staff Co-Chair and Communications Specialist with University Marketing and Communications.
“Events like Souper Star Lunch help us spotlight issues facing our community and generate enthusiasm for raising the much-needed funds to address them,” she said.
Poverty and food insecurity are two examples of the seven societal issues United Way Niagara focuses its resources on and prioritizes when funding vital local programming.
Beyond purchasing a ticket to Souper Star Lunch, Whyte says employees can make an even larger impact in the community by making a one-time online donation to United Way or setting up payroll contribution via Workday.
“There are more than 70,000 people in our community who are currently experiencing food insecurity,” she said. “A few dollars a pay can add up to help local programs provide emergency food, teach people how to garden and cook, and offer meal delivery services for seniors.”
The day of the event, attendees will be asked to show their proof of purchase QR code at check-in via a mobile device or printed receipt. They will also receive a ballot to vote for their favourite soup.
Lesley Rigg, Brock’s new President and Vice-Chancellor, will be offering opening remarks at 12:15 p.m., and Lynn Wells, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, will be announcing the winning soup and this year’s Souper Bowl trophy winner at 12:45 p.m.
To learn more about United Way Niagara and the hundreds of local programs it funds, visit Brock’s United Way Campaign SharePoint site or the United Way Niagara website.