An estimated 400 people on Wednesday flocked to the Exhibit Hall at La Plata County Fairgrounds to savor Durango’s finest appetizers, soups and deserts that were offered during this year’s Soup for the Soul – a heartwarming benefit for Hospice of Mercy.
Restaurants featured this year included: Garden Terrace Café at Mercy Regional Medical Center, Carver Brewing Co., Chimayo Stone Fried Kitchen, CJ’s Diner, Cyprus Cafe, Digs Restaurant and Bar, The Red Snapper, East by Southwest, Glacier Club, Zia Taqueria, Mahogany Grille, Mutu’s Italian Kitchen, Seasons Rotisserie and Grill, Norton’s Catering Co., Ore House, Kassidy’s Kitchen, Soup Palette and Durangourmet.
Tickets were $75, and a silent auction was held throughout the evening for prizes, such as a flight for three over the Four Corners. The event raised a preliminary amount of $65,000 for the hospice, said Karen Midkiff, Mercy Health Foundation chief development officer.
Each restaurant was asked to bring 1,400 ounces of soup, plus an appetizer or dessert. A slew of soup varieties were featured, such as chowders, chili, purees, curries, bisques and stews. Cookies from the DoubleTree Hotel, beer from Steamworks Brewing Co. and wine from Star Liquors were also available. The selection allowed guests – meat, seafood and vegetable lovers alike – to choose savory, spicy, hearty, creamy, sweet and decadent tastes until their palates and stomachs were more than satisfied.
Guests voted for their favorite soups and the Glacier Club was announced as the 2018 winner for its tomato basil bisque and grilled-cheese sandwiches. And, as always, guests received a themed soup mug for this year’s event, which was sponsored by Spine Colorado.
After everyone settled down with their food and drinks, Jerry Martinez, owner of CJ’s Diner and Mercy Health Foundation Board member, took the stage to welcome guests; thank restaurants, sponsors, volunteers and the Animas High School students who have set up the event for the past eight years; and introduced the evening’s entertainment – Al the Only, a light-hearted comedian and magician.
Al’s performance featured three major magic tricks, including making a $100 bill from John Wells disappear, then reappear underneath tightly wrapped cellophane on the outside of a cigar.
Dr. Mark Saddler, board-certified nephrologist provided a message of giving as a closing statement, and told a brief story about a patient who needed a kidney transplant. While he passed away, Hospice of Mercy helped him and his family though a heartbreaking time. Saddler said to the audience that hospice has a mission, which needs support and donations.
Mercy Health Foundation board members and staff organize and put on the event each year to raise funds for the hospice facility at Mercy Regional Medical Center. In its 14th year, the event has raised about $6 million for Hospice of Mercy.
For more information, visit www.mhffnd.org.