If you want to see everyone in town, there’s one event that’s sure to provide an opportunity: Soup for the Soul benefitting Hospice of Mercy.
Held Thursday, it was a jam-packed Exhibit Hall at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, with more than 500 people enjoying the bounty from area restaurants and food purveyors.
And as always, the food was superb. Many establishments have begun adding appetizers or desserts to their offerings, so if anyone went home hungry, it was their own fault.
Carver Brewing Co. served up roasted green chile-pork soup along with roasted poblano-chicken mini tacos; Chimayo provided chipotle-potato-cheddar soup and Mexican-braised meatballs; CJ’s Diner dished up chicken-green chile soup and cherry and peach cobblers; Cyprus Café ladled up chicken-sausage gumbo and cornbread; Digs Restaurant and Bar, the winner of last year’s attendees’ favorite soup, prepared red chile-pork posole and fresh-baked bread; and Durangourmet, Jimmy Nicholson’s catering outfit, made Thai red-lentil soup with aromatic chili oil and fried curried fish cakes with cucumber dipping sauce.
That’s just the beginning.
East by Southwest made a “Tonkotsu” pork ramen; Garden Terrace Café at Mercy Regional Medical Center offered curried cauliflower soup and a shrimp-mango salsa appetizer served in an edible cracker spoon (really, extremely cool); Glacier Club spooned up a creamy French onion soup and wild mushroom and blue cheese strudel with asparagus foam; and Mahogany Grille prepared coconut curry-chicken soup, Asian meatballs and tomato-basil bruschetta.
I’m not done yet.
The Ore House ladled up a steak and wild mushroom velouté as well as a beef tenderloin tartare; Seasons Rotisserie and Grill made a Moroccan-spiced cauliflower soup; the Red Snapper prepared a potato-leek soup and smoked trout pâté; Norton’s Catering made both a chicken-tortilla soup and, of course, fresh oysters on the half shell; and The Soup Palette made a spicy mulligatawny stew to be followed by brownies with chocolate ganache or lemon bars.
Glacier Club and Mahogany Grille went head-to-head for this year’s favorite soup, with the competition ending in a tie.
That does it for the restaurants, but not the food. Bread lived up to its namesake and provided a multitude of loaves; the DoubleTree Hotel donated dozens of its famous chocolate chip cookies; and Parady Financial made sure everyone had some crackers with their soup. Steamworks Brewing Co. provided the beer, and Star Liquors ensured plenty of vino was available. Eno’s donated the coffee.
This is an event with a lot of moving parts. Animas High School students pitched in to set up the room, which is quite the enterprise. Native Roots Garden Center provided some welcome greenery in that cavernous hall, and, the United Methodist Thrift Shop sponsored the program, which requires a map to tell diners where the goodies they’re salivating over are located.
There were many reminders why we were there, from Mercy Chaplain Josh Magyar’s blessing, to Mercy Health Foundation Board Chairman Steve Swisher, who emceed, to the Garys – singer Gary Boyd and guitarist Gary Cook – who sang about home. Because HOME, the Hospice of Mercy Experience, was the theme.
The Mercy Health Foundation staff, Chief Development Officer Karen Midkiff, Development Officer Joy Hess, administrative assistant Lauri Wilson-Lacy, along with event planner Kay Hoppe Jones, has been raising money for the project for years. (They also organized the event, a Herculean task.) They’re at $4.6 million, which was the original target.
But last year, they realized that if they rethought the facility, which will include a comfortable, warm place for those who cannot die at home, garden features, a library and other amenities, they could save on operating costs by connecting it to the hospital.
The final design is now complete, and it’s beautiful. But it has also ramped up the cost by $1 million, and the fundraising for that began Thursday. Calvin and Pat Story of Treasure Auction continued their generosity streak by guiding the giving.
Donations of $1,000 or more allow donors to specify a memorial or honoree, whose name will be engraved on bricks rescued from the demolition of the historic Mercy Hospital. The bricks will be set in the pathway in HOME’s Memorial Garden.
Karen Zink, a long-time Hospice of Mercy volunteer, not only shared experiences of having the honor of being with people in their final moments, she also kicked off the giving with a $25,000 donation. And then it took off from there. I kind of lost track after a while, but people were either raising their placards or quietly writing checks and putting them in the envelopes provided.
The best news of the evening was they’re not waiting to get the building started. The groundbreaking will take place April 21.
I expect it will be where I, as someone who lives alone, may end up living my final days, so I’ve watched the project with particular interest. Based on the art and the design, it will be a special place indeed.
To learn more, visit www.mhfnd.org/news. Call the foundation at 764-2800 to learn more about how you can help raise the final $1 million and get a memorial brick of your own.
HHHEnjoying (mostly) spring weather for their birthdays are Karson Harbison, Jeffrey Wince, Cheryle Brandsma, Rebecca Awe, Laura Freitag, Caroline Kinser, Betsy Clark, Connor Collins, Emil Nagy, Tracy Cornutt, Stella Best, David Smith, Rachel Overington, Ian Gordon, Staci Latham, Randy Glenn, Joe Silva, Rod Stockton, Tanya Mayberry, George Mayberry, Patricia Montonera, Feather Smith, Martina Pansze, Eric Copeland, Calvin Chase, Karin Kingsley, Joe Albert, Mary Gilley, Joan Fauteaux, Allison Barker, Sarah Somrak, Topher Leach, Arden Westerwick and Donna Alsdurf.
HHHIf you’re looking for a feel-good and fun way to spend your Saturday afternoon, head over the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave.
Operation Second Chance is holding a Red, White and Blue Wine, Cheese and Beer Tasting from noon to 4 p.m. to raise funds to provide adventures in Colorado for veterans healing from their service.
Organizer Kayla Story Patterson said this is not associated in any way with the Wounded Warrior Project, which has been under fire for extravagant spending with donors’ dollars. Any money raised at the event will be spent in or near La Plata County when veterans are brought to our corner of paradise for healing and fun times.
Patterson and Phil Boroff are still seeking items for the live auction.
Tickets, which are $15/individuals and $25/couples are available by calling Boroff at (701) 818-4618 or at the door.
HHHI can’t believe it’s been 10 days since the Durango Voice finals, which as far as I’m concerned was a rip-roaring success for its first outing to support Manna Soup Kitchen.
I wrote about the semi-finals a few weeks ago, where 12 finalists were selected, each working with one of the four judges: Gary Penington, Jill Holly, Kevin Bell and Linda Brice.
The singers rehearsed, they polished, they wowed at performances April 2 in the Henry Strater Theatre.
It was a conundrum for the judges, but after much conferring, the awarded the honors. Kiersten Langford, who sang “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, was named second runner-up. Curtis Storm was given first runner-up honors after singing “What You’d Call a Dream.”
And taking home the Golden Mic, a $300 photo shoot for head shots and a gig in the Rochester’s Secret Garden Concert Series this summer was 13-year-old Jade Robbins. Born to sing the blues, she performed “I’d Rather Go Blind,” an Etta James cover.
Lisa Govreau won the prize for being the singer who raised the most money for Manna, due in large part to members of her church, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango, who turned out en masse to support her.
While the theater wasn’t completely sold out, the crowd was enthusiastic and supportive. People could “vote” for their favorites by making donations to the soup kitchen in their honor, and that voting brought in almost $2,000, Manna Executive Director Kathy Tonnessen said.
Kudos go to organizer Malia Durbano and the massive group it took to pull this off. Among her volunteers were Mike Carney, Sally Zabriskie, Curtis Salinger, Susan Service, Kara Smith, Kaleigh Nau, Kim Randazzo, Liz Stellrecht and Jason Cloudt, along with several more, I’m sure.
HHHTulips are celebrating these couples’ anniversaries with colors – George and Melodie San Miguel, Michael and Linda Buehler, Eileen and Jim Zick, Bill and Marianne Griffin and Ron Risner and Judy Simmons.
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