“We were really worried about the rain this morning,” said Donna Niemczyk of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce. “But a little rain can’t keep our islanders away!” The park was lined with cars as attendees of the 8th Annual Souper Bowl ate to their hearts’ content. Ten local restaurants kept the hungry masses satisfied with their finest soup creations. The event was created by Leadership Marco and the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce looking for a way to positively impact the community. Proceeds from the event fund the Chamber’s generous educational scholarship program for local high school graduates.
It is truly a community event. Hand-painted bowls are created by students at Tommie Barfield Elementary, Marco Island Charter Middle School, Marco Island Academy, Lely High School and at the City of Marco Island Parks and Rec. The bowls are fired by the Clay Guild at the Marco Island Center for the Arts. A bowl is chosen by each person as they enter the event and is free with the price of admission. Ten local restaurants supply their soup creations and attendees can sample all or just pick their favorites, eating to their hearts’ content.
There is also a silent auction of special artisan created bowls; again, all donated.
You could say the event serves up soup and fulfills a purpose. Along with Donna, the current Leadership Marco class volunteers working the event to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Other Chamber members volunteer as well, and the event has the support of many in the business community. “This event is important for our students. We can’t thank all of the sponsors, restaurants, artists, and the City of Marco Island Parks and Rec enough,” commented Donna.
Ten restaurants supplied the soup: CJ’s on the Bay, Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa, Island Country Club, Mango’s Dockside Bistro, Petit Soleil, Quinn’s on the Beach JW Marriott, Stonewalls, The Boulevard Restaurant, The Italian Deli and Market and the Speakeasy.
Participating artists were: Anastasia Baron, Kim Belange, Judy Chinski, Kathy Graf, Judy Harthorn, Don Harthorn, Betty Newman, Tara O’Neill, Bruce Robertson, Joann Sanborn, Karen Swanker and Malenda Trick.