Soup served for a good cause

Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:14 AM

“You just keep adding to it,” Jonas said. “We find out each one has a different, specific gravity — so some float, and some suspend, and some sink to the bottom.”

Most of the hundreds of people dining on soup and bread at the luncheon were like Jonas’ tablemate, Tyler Hayes of Grand Haven. “Just one soup at a time,” Hayes said.

“We are raising money for the Homeless Prevention (Endowment) Fund at the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation,” explained organizer Karen Reenders. “The funds are used for homeless prevention” in Ottawa County.

To see more photos from the benefit luncheon, click here.

The eighth annual benefit soup lunch was held concurrently Thursday in Holland, with proceeds there going into the homeless fund held at the Holland/Zeeland Community Foundation.

“They do their own thing and we do ours,” explained Reenders, a member of the Ottawa Area Housing Coalition and executive director of The People Center in Spring Lake. “Because everybody is so community-oriented, it works better for both organizations to hold separate events.”

While the numbers from this year’s events were not available this morning, last year’s luncheons raised a combined $12,000, The Holland Sentinel reported.

The soup for Thursday’s event in Grand Haven was donated by nine area restaurants and caterers.

“I tried three of the nine,” said Dale Zahn, who lives in Holland but works in Grand Haven. “It’s all for a good cause, too.”

The bread was provided by the Village Baker in Spring Lake and cookies were donated by Meijer.

“St. Pat’s donated the space and staff to help us pull this off,” Reenders added. “Their staff is fantastic.”

Students from Grand Haven and Spring Lake schools also volunteered their time to serve.

“Our whole Student Council is here, so it’s really exciting that our seniors on Student Council got to get out and help in a project like this,” said Spring Lake High

School senior Evie Lorimer, who was serving cookies alongside local real estate agent Betty Pierce. “It’s fun to be here.”

The students served many of their teachers, such as second-grade teacher Liz Feriend, who joined a group of staff from Ferry Elementary School.

“It’s delicious,” Feriend said of the soup. “We come every year.”

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