For the 19th year, Humane Society of the High Plains hosted its largest fundraiser, the Soup ‘r Bowl, on Sunday in the Unrein Building at the Ellis County Fairgrounds.

“All the chefs are businesses this year, and some of them we’ve seen year after year,” said Dayna Schmidt, Humane Society of the High Plains board president.

The annual cook-off saw large crowds, as supporters lined up to taste test a variety of soups available.

“The chefs are the ones who really make this happen,” Schmidt said.

Judy Parks, regional retail manager at Sunflower Bank, said she thought it was the fourth or fifth year participating in the fundraiser.

“We do a different soup every year,” she said. “This is one way we can come out and help the little doggies and kitties.”

For $5, guests received sample cups to try the soup varieties and voted for their favorites.

First place and the Golden Ladle went to Auto World. In second was Lewis Automotive, and Sunflower Bank was third.

In addition to the soups, cherry pies were provided by Ellis County Sheriff Ed Harbin, and a bake shop offered a variety of desserts by Debbie Weber, Carolyn Fuller and Creta LaBarge.

Guests received the opportunity to win door prizes such as quilts, gift cards, photo sessions, dog beds, collars, leashes and gift baskets.

“All of these community people come out, all the businesses donate, and it’s all for the animals,” Schmidt said.

In 2015, the Soup ‘R Bowl raised approximately $6,000 toward medical expenses for animals, according to manager Betty Hansen. Those funds helped approximately 1,100 animals.

“All of the profits from today go into a medical fund, too,” she said. “That medical fund sees to the vaccinations of all the animals that come in — anything they need, as far as vet care.”

Hays Veterinary Hospital’s Steve Mosier said he wanted to attend in support because the humane society is an important piece of Hays — a piece that helps fill a great need.

“That’s why this is such a great event,” Mosier said. “It’s all for the animals.”