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Soup'R Bowl a tasty fundraiser





Thirteen businesses and individuals came together Sunday in the 17th annual Soup'R Bowl sponsored by Humane Society of the High Plains.

More than 200 guests walked through the booths filled with gallons of soup, desserts and an occasional breath mint or mini hand sanitizer bottle.

Henry Schwaller IV, sponsored by Schwaller & Associates, cooked a "Baked" Potato Soup.

"I'm very happy to be here," he said. "It's a lot of work, but it's for a good cause."

The guests were given enough cups to sample every soup, along with a to-go cup for their favorite and five tickets to vote for the best soup(s). The soup with the most tickets won the Golden Ladle.

Third place went to Sauerkraut 'N Sausage Soup, sponsored by Hays Arts Council and Fur is Flying.

"We're going for a German theme," said Brenda Meder, executive director of HAC. "I can't remember how I found the recipe, but we've converted some people to German food so far."

Meder has been the head chef for five Soup'R Bowls.

Pam Jassman, Hays, said she thought the council's soup was better than a similar recipe at a local establishment.

"You just have to like the type of food," she said. "But they definitely have the right clientele here in Hays."

Second place went to White Chili, sponsored by Auto World Used Cars.

Nex-Tech Wireless won the Golden Ladle for Dad's Creamy Broccoli Soup.

"It was my dad's recipe," said Pat Nichols, Nex-Tech customer care lead. "My dad was a drill instructor in the Marines, and he loved to cook. He always said, 'There's no reason you can't put different foods together and make them taste good.' "

The company served the soup in bread bowls made by Courtney Schmeidler, carrier relations specialist, and her 5-year-old son.

"We just made the dough a little bit at a time," she said. "We made 300 total."

Schmeidler said this is a good opportunity to get out and do projects together as a company.

Nichols is recovering from pancreatic cancer.

"She's spent the last two years fighting, and we're glad to have her come out for this," Schmeidler said. "She just had her last treatment Thursday and was back at work Friday making sure people were excited to come out today."

All proceeds raised at the Soup'R Bowl went directly to the humane society. Last year, the organization spent more than $18,000 on food and supplies, according to staff.

The humane society always is looking for cash or supply donations, particularly blankets and paper towels. Volunteers also are needed. For more information, visit www.hshponline.org or call (785) 625-5252.