The Peace Connections-sponsored Souper Bowl Supper and Dessert Auction on Jan. 31 at First United Methodist Church was not as big as Super Bowl LI.  But it was big enough to score a huge win for the Harvey County community.

One hundred and 25 people filled the church basement to donate for their soup and to bid on desserts for as much as $100-plus for a pie or a pan of brownies. By evening’s end, their generosity raised a total of $2, 824 for Harvey County Circle of Hope. Peace Connections sponsors the program to help low-resource families build a more positive future through life skills training and mentoring

“I was amazed that so many people turned out on a winter night,” said Rosie Hake, committee chair and an Ally (mentor) to a Circle Leader (Circle participants who are leaders of their own support groups). “We are grateful for the people who supported us this year, and we will definitely want to do it again next year.”

Joining Hake in her gratitude are fellow committee members and allies Deb Zeiner and Marian Stubbs.

 “Since this was our first time with this, we didn’t know what to expect. Who knew that so many people would show up on a Tuesday night in January? Judging from attendance, our play on words – timed to correspond with this year’s Super Bowl – worked," Zeiner said. 

Staff members providing support were Jennifer Rose, Executive Director of Peace Connections and Coordinator of Harvey County Circle of Hope; Patti Carter, Circle coach; and Wanda Pumphrey, Circle class facilitator. 

 “I was amazed at how many people were here, and I am thrilled with the support," Rose said. "I was also amazed at how much they bid on the desserts, with one pie going for $130.

Event goer Bette Rhine won a bid on a rhubarb pie for $80. She then sliced the pie and resold individual pieces at her table

“I bid on a pie I thought would go for $100, but it went lower,” she said. So a couple at my table said they would kick in $20 for a slice of the pie to make the donation $100. They each bought a a slice for $20, and then I gave $100 for my pie to make a total of $140.

Others joined in making the event a winner. Mike Flavin served as the auctioneer, and Circle Leaders and Peace Connection volunteers helped to showcase the items and take them to the winning bidders

Volunteers provided the soups and some home-made pies and desserts and served the soup along with bread and cheese. Also contributing to the festive good will was a local music group, Newton Ukulele Tunes Society, or the NUTS. Local businesses donating pies were Drubers, the Breadbasket and Charlies.

The champions of this event are the Circle Leaders, including Jacob Easley, who can continue to build their families on a stronger foundation because of the community generosity. Easley showcased the desserts during bidding, and delivered the items to the winners. “This event turned out a lot better than I thought it would,” he said. “I had a lot of fun, especially showing off the pies.”