Record turnout for BEDS Plus Soup & Bread fundraiser
By Steve Metsch
Thousands of cups of soup were savored during the Soup & Bread event hosted by BEDS Plus, which organizers called a smashing success.
Attendance was 700, which exceeded the 600 who attended in 2020, just before the pandemic broke loose.
“It’s our biggest ever,” BEDS Plus Community Relations Manager Erin Molek said.
The event was held from 3 to 7 p.m. February 5 at the Holiday Inn Banquet Center, 6200 Joliet Road, Countryside.
Molek thought people were eager to “get out and have fun” at a fundraiser that had not been held the previous two years because of the pandemic.
“People wanted to get together again. It’s a popular event because it’s very laid back,” Molek said.
Having five bands perform may have attracted some, BEDS Plus Development Manager Molly Price said.
Soup and Surf Duo, All In Band, Blue Lexi, Honee B and Crows of Furey all performed.
“The bands have big followings,” Price said. “And there were our 20 soups all from different restaurants.”
Both called the event “affordable” with the cost $25 per person.
For that, you got to enjoy as much soup as you wanted and received a commemorative soup bowl to bring home.
Price said the fundraiser brought in from $63,000 to $65,000.
There also was a wide range of prizes won in raffles, including a ski vacation and a trip to Las Vegas and products from local merchants.
BEDS Plus helps the homeless throughout the southwest suburbs by providing shelter, housing, and supportive services.
“I think it’s a good representation of the work we do,” Molek said of the event.
Price thought the event “had a soup kitchen vibe, maybe. And everyone was eating all those delicious soups.”
Elected officials from several communities served by BEDS Plus attended, Price said.
“We saw a lot of new faces, which is really great for us. We always want to spread the word to other people that BEDS Plus is not only a resource but a way to get involved as volunteers,” Molek said.
They thanked the numerous volunteers who worked on set up, busing tables and cleaning up after, along with the 20 restaurants, the beer and wine vendors. and Rosen’s Bakery Company which donated bread.
For more information about BEDS Plus, visit www.beds-plus.org.
Yes, there will be a Soup & Bread Event in 2024. “We’ll do something special,” Molek said of what will be the organization’s 10th live event.
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