Highlights from the 2017 Cook-off!
Kinship youth Mentoring
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Kinship's 19th Annual Fundraiser
"The Soup & Chili Cook-off"
Tuesday, March 27, 2018!
Kinship’s 18th annual Soup & Chili Cook-Off was an enjoyable success again this year! Many comments from those in attendance mirrored past year’s such as, “I come every year!”, and “I love sampling the different kinds of soups and chilis!”, and “It’s so fun to see so many from the community gather to enjoy socializing while supporting a valuable youth program.” Of course the music, ice cream, and breadsticks are always favorites too.
The Cook-off continues to bring out young and old alike as attendees enjoy soup & chili, fellowship with others and most importantly to support Kinship. The level of support (both financial & volunteer wise) from Kinship volunteers and members of the community speaks volumes to how valuable mentoring is viewed.
We have all had a mentor in addition to our parent(s) at some time in our lives. Often it is a coach, teacher, neighbor or extended family member who becomes that role model, listening ear, wise counsel or partner to share life’s experiences with. For kids growing up without both parents in their home, those relationships become even more vital. But sometimes those traditional “mentors” aren’t able to or have as much time available to mentor young people as they’d like, thus the need for outside role models. That’s where organizations like Kinship come in.
In addition to recruiting and screening volunteers and matching them with kids on a common interest basis, Kinship hosts activities that its kids and volunteers, those matched one-on-one and those waiting to be matched, can participate in. Some kids catch their first fish, attend their first minor or major league ball game, or learn how to paddle a canoe at Kinship events. Regardless of the Kinship activity, even baking Christmas cookies, there is a cost involved. Kinship staff and board of directors remain dedicated to providing an event that not only brings in needed dollars, but is a place where a good time and good food can be had by all.
Many cookers come every year, regardless of if they win or not. Most years we welcome at least one greenhorn (who will often end up winning!) It is also fun to see some people take their sampling and voting very seriously, and some people just like to taste it all and voting an afterthought. One cooker who did not win stressed how he was honored to participate in an event that serves to make better the lives of kids who don’t have both parents. Of course winning would be fun, but he said, “I’m here for the kids”.
This year again there were a couple of very close competitions, a tie in fact, that the judges were challenged to break. The first, second, and third place Judges Choice soup winners this year were Design Electronics/Radio Shack (Italian Wedding Soup), The Fort Steakhouse (Asparagus Bacon Soup) and LeBlanc’s Rice Creek Hunting & Recreation (Pheasant Wild Rice Soup). The first, second, and third place chili winners were The Fort Steakhouse (White Chicken Chili), Lorelee’s Family Chili (Morrison County HRA) and Curves (Curves Complete Cozy Comfort Chili) .
The People’s choice was a tight contest, both in the favorite soup and chili and also the theme. But, the one who came out with the most votes was The Fort Steakhouse for their Asparagus Bacon Soup and Anderson Custom Processing for their Creamy Turkey Chili. The best theme this year went to Jordie’s Trailside Café for their MN Twins theme (and the presence of Brian Dozier . . . or at least a life-sized cut-out).
This year there were soups & chili's entered by 16 area restaurants, businesses, churches & groups including Anderson Custom Processing, Curves, Design Electronics/Radio Shack, Faith Lutheran Church, Falls Ballroom, Hilmerson RV, Jordie's Trail Side Cafe, Little Falls Country Club, Little Falls Radio, Morrison County HRA, Old Creamery Cafe, Perkins Family Restaurant, Leblanc's Rice Creek Hunting & Recreation, Rich Prairie Chiropractic Center, The Fort Steakhouse and The Royal Cafe . Thank you all for being willing to share 4-5 gallons of your secret recipe soups & chili's at the Cook-off!
The gorgeously warm weather may have kept a few people from coming out for soup and chili; staying home to grill out instead as there were less than 400 in attendance. Regardless, it was still a success in raising needed funds and spreading the Kinship message. Please contact the Kinship office at 632-8806 if you would like to learn more about donating, becoming an activity volunteer, or if you would like to enroll a child in the program.
Thank you to the many donors who gave either material donations (auction, raffle, soup or chili), sponsorship of certain Cook-off expenses (i.e. Ballroom rental) or who gave cash donations to help make the Cook-off a financial success.
THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING DONORS & SPONSORS OF THE COOK-OFF!