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John Hillert Soup-er Sunday To Benefit Food Pantry

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CLIFTON FORGE — John Hillert Soup-er Sunday is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 7, as a take-out event again this year.

Twenty-two area chefs will be cooking hearty soups for the public to enjoy during the seventh annual John Hillert Soup-er Sunday at the Masonic Amphitheatre alley from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Clifton Forge Area Food Pantry.

Members of the Soup-er Sunday Planning Committee wanted to continue with the tradition so they devised a way to make the event a take-out event much like take-out at a fast-food restaurant. When previous chefs were asked if they would participate under the revised format, the positive response was overwhelming.

Just as last year the added feature is ordering online. To order soup and to see the complete menu of soups, all one has to do is go online at www.historicmasonictheatre.com select the Soup-er Sunday event, follow the prompts and order soups. The soup, packaged in quart containers and priced at $10 each, will be available for pick-up at the Masonic Amphitheatre alley at 513 Church Street on November 7 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Masonic Theatre Board members and volunteers will deliver the soup to each vehicle. Customers can stay in the safety of their vehicles. Soup will also be available to purchase the day of the event, Nov. 7, by entering the alley and choosing from the menu, just as one does at a fast-food restaurant. The soup will be delivered to the vehicle and payment will be made at that time.

As in the past, area chefs donate their time, talent, and ingredients to make the day a success. The menu of soups includes chicken and dumplings, chili, and stews, in addition to vegan and vegetarian varieties of soup. Jack Mason’s Tavern, Hill Crest Mansion Inn, Michael’s New York Style Pizza, Big Fat Jerry’s, and Alleghany Journal are a few of the businesses that will be making soup in addition to individual chefs from Clifton Forge, Covington, and Alleghany County.

All Soup-er Sunday participants are donating their time so that as much money as possible may be raised for the Food Pantry during this particularly busy time of year. The food fantry serves Clifton Forge, Iron Gate, Millboro, Hot Springs, areas of Covington, Eagle Rock and anyone with an emergency and provides food for over 350 families per month.

Debbie West, president of the food pantry states, “Our food is very low at this time … the worse we have seen it — especially canned goods. Buying case lots is expensive. With the pandemic, our client base is growing weekly and as cold weather is upon us with large utility bills that must be paid, our clients struggle to feed their families. This food pantry is vital to the community and operates on donations of food and money to sustain its operation. The John Hillert Soup-er Sunday is a great event to attend and has been a huge success for helping the food pantry accomplish its goals to meet the need in the community”.

Proceeds from the Soup-er Sunday event purchase food to last for several months. Proceeds from the event increase every year.

Souper-Sunday Committee member, Janet Spearman adds, “This year marks the seventh annual John Hillert Soup-er Sunday. From the very beginning, this event has been extremely popular. We have devised a wonderful plan for take-out soup pick-up. Fortunately, all our soup chefs and some new chefs are ready to make their delicious mouth-watering soups. This is a delicious way to fill your freezer and simultaneously help our Food Pantry! Thank you to our committee members, Lois Coche-Smith, Janie Barnette, Jim Sortore, Susan Goings, Elizabeth Putnam, Teresa Dudley and volunteers and Board members of The Historic Masonic Theatre”.

Soup-er Sunday is named in memory of John Hillert who was instrumental in implementing the concept of the Soup-er Sunday fund raiser for the Food Pantry and worked hard with volunteers to present the first Soup-er Sunday in November 2015. In 2016, Hillert, was diagnosed with stage four non-smoker’s lung cancer and died on May 18, 2017, but was an active committee member and attended 2016’s event in his wheelchair.

To learn more, please visit the Clifton Forge Area Food Pantry Facebook page. The event is sponsored by The Historic Masonic Theatre.

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