By Lauren Zeugner
The ninth annual Wawasee Kiwanis Soup supper appears to have been a success Friday night, Jan. 26. Alexis Mast, event organizer and club president-elect, reported she needed to print out more ballots at 6:40 p.m. Five more tables had to be set up as well.
Mast said in the past the event usually brought out about 200 people. “It seems like social media really exploded,” she said. By about 6:15 p.m. the gym of the Syracuse Community Center, where the supper was held, was full.
This year the event had 21 contestants. Mast said Wawasee Kiwanis Club usually aims to have 20 to 25 contestants.
Contestants this year were: Man Cave Brewing, Mug Shots Coffee House and Eatery, Peterson’s Fish, Louis’ Bar and Grill, which had two entries, Syracuse Cafe, Sleepy Owl, The Channel Marker, Stephanie Cannon, Tom Crews, Ashley Stump, Amy Rensberger and Lake Area Players.
Also competing were Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Lakeland Youth Center, Syracuse Parks, Key Bank, Griffith Wawasee Marina, Psychobilly Kustoms and The Revolving Closet.
Many who attended the evening went all out and taste tested all 21 soups. “Once you get half of them down, it gets a little easier to weed out,” said Julie Romine. “I’m not going to tell you which way I’m leaning.”
“This is my favorite holiday in Syracuse… It’s a nice mix of flavors,” said R. Rensberger.
The soup winners for this year are: in the business category, Key Bank, use the red key chili; in the non-profit division, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, which entered a potato soup; in the restaurant division, Syracuse Cafe for cheeseburger surprise soup; and in the Individual category, Stephanie Cannon won with her corn chowder.
This year the overall winner could not be a category winner. The overall winner was Man Cave Brewing for a tomato basil soup, which many who attended raved about.
There was also a raffle drawing for gift certificates to Man Cave Brewing, West on Main and for a Polywood Adirondack chair. Jeff Toumey won the gift certificate to Man Cave Brewing. Jen Scheele, a guest server for the evening, won the gift certificate for West on Main and Joy Goshert won the chair. The raffle drawing raised $340 for Riley Children’s Hospital.
An estimated $1,500 was raised through the soup supper. Funds raised from the event will benefit several local youth related charities.