Folks of all ages filled the picnic tables and some folks even brought their own seating. Tonight the $5 donation for soup was the same as was its ticket to vote for the day's community project pitches but the twist was three local food trucks donated 3 different yummy soups besides a percentage of their own individual menu sales. Both beer sale proceeds by Beer for Brigade and desserts by a local elementary school were also donated.
|Cilantro Lime Taco Bisque|
|Smoked Chicken Noodle|
|Cloudy's -a Cilantro Lime Taco Bisque and Sweet Lou's Smoked Chicken Noodle.|
Pitch #1 was for Global Initiatives with cultural awareness being the goal by hosting community cultural events. Monies are needed for event space, advertising, etc. In the past University foreign exchange students and community members help share their cultures with displays, music, handicrafts, dance, storytelling in addition to food sampling.
Pitch #2 was for additional funding for the Franciscan Sisters $8 Hygiene bags which contain products like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, etc individualized for women, men/children. The common good besides providing shelter, clothing and food is also allowing individuals to feel good about themselves by being clean.
Pitch # 3 was for SURJ which organizes white people for racial justice through community mobilization and education. After starting a book club and reading the book The New Jim Crow on incarceration, SURJ formed the SURJ Barrier Busters project 'to help people of color who have been incarcerated transition to educational and vocational opportunities' assisting Project Proven with providing funds for transportation, child care, class supplies, job clothes etc...
The event also included 3 surprises. Raffle prizes were awarded and we won a $100 value of 10 classes of indoor bike riding. Holy moly!
After the presentations everybody dropped their Soup ticket for their favorite pitch into a designated bag. While the votes were being counted there was another surprise with a special announcement by two representatives from the La Crosse Community Foundation which awards grants. The Foundation is so impressed with La Crosse Soup's work and the 3 pitches that they would give $1000 to the pitch runner up. What a terrific gesture!
Before announcing the people's choice and the runner up I also have to share another very special surprise moment to show how La Crosse Soup affects our community. Just because a pitch doesn't win doesn't mean it is forgotten as Boy Scout Sam can attest. Sam shared with the crowd a story about his Mom showing him a video she had taken of a past La Crosse Soup pitch about the Coulee Council on Addiction needs for Recreational Activities equipment. It hadn't won that night but it touched Sam so much that he decided to raise funds for this endeavor for his Eagle Scout project. He sent out request letters for both monetary and item donations to local businesses. He even received monies from his grandfather's Rotary group. Thanks to Sam some of our community members lives are better including recreational items such as fishing poles and filled tackle boxes. Heart touching, right?
OK, I know you are waiting to know the People's Choice pitch.
Drum roll please....
SURJ came in first winning $3593 from the evening's donations and the Hygiene Bags coming in second for that $1000 donation.
The truth is and I think you'd agree we are all winners with La Crosse Soup in our community. At a time when funding cuts abound we all need to be a little kinder, you too could have the same crowdfunding community program in your city/town!
* BTW We passed our raffle winning on to a young mother with 3 teen boys who was ecstatic to say the least to have those bike classes!