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Long lines don't deter hungry crowd from Soup 'R Bowl

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

At times, the line at Sunday's Humane Society of the High Plains 16th annual Soup 'R Bowl was long, but with the aroma of home-cooked soup in the air, no one minded.

"We were looking forward to this a lot. If people come away not satisfied, it's their own fault," Jerry Boos said.

"They're really all good. Everybody puts in a good deal of work," Dale Brungardt said.

This year, a total of 14 chefs served 15 soups that ranged from the familiar green bean dumpling to Grandma Leona's ham and cabbage soup. The menu also included desserts, such as Ellis County Sheriff Ed Harbin's popular cherry pie.

"We have a lot of new chefs this year," said Betty Hansen, humane society shelter manager. "They're probably learning quite a bit."

The Hays High School Book Club was one of the new organizations competing.

"Last year, we helped, but we didn't cook," said Elizabeth Harris, one of the organization's co-sponsors. "We thought it would be fun to compete. Part of (being a member of) the organization is community service."

"I think it's important animals have a good home," said Alyssa Reed, a member of the group. "I enjoy volunteering."

The students split the responsibilities for the event. Some students helped prepare the cheeseburger soup and rommegrot Saturday, and others served them at Sunday's event.

Ashley Smith helped both days.

"I stirred rommegrot for 30 minutes," she said of the Norwegian dessert soup the group served.

"It is a sour-cream based soup," said Melanie Folkerts, the book club's co-sponsor. "It is wonderful. This is not the calorie thin one. When we serve it with melted butter on top and add sugar and cinnamon, it's just amazing."

Besides serving the soup dishes, the group brought soup-themed picture books to read to youngsters needing a little diversion, Harris said.

Despite the names, the Kitty Piddle, orange pineapple soda and Dog Drool -- an orange-lemon flavored soda -- sold well at the humane society's table.

The soda, created by New Britain, Conn.-based Avery's Beverages, is part of the company's Totally Gross Sodas line.

"People are fascinated by it," Hansen said.

Though most people get their tickets at the door, advance sales were good, she said.