Annual SOUPer Bowl Sunday Raises Funds For Hospital

The seventh annual SOUPer Bowl Sunday was a big hit, drawing a huge crowd for the soup-laden event. Pictured, from left, are Jennifer Wendel, director of UPMC Chautauqua WCA Respiratory Care Sleep Center and Neurology; Betsy Wright, UPMC Chautauqua WCA president; Brigetta Overcash, WCA Foundation executive director; and Cathy Caster, UPMC Chautauqua WCA administrative associate. P-J photo by Katrina Fuller

LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood American Legion was filled with patrons ready for a hearty bowl of soup for a good cause on Sunday afternoon.

During the seventh annual SOUPer Bowl Sunday, visitors were given the chance to taste a variety of soups from several local vendors and vote for their favorite. Brigetta Overcash, WCA Foundation executive director, said the event is a favorite of the community.

Overcash said the proceeds of the event benefit UPMC Chautauqua WCA robotic surgery, as well as cancer treatments at the hospital as part of the Mary Rapaport Fund which was initiated by Mary and Bill Rapaport of Greenhurst. Mary Rapaport is a 20-year survivor of breast cancer. Rapaport also created many of the baskets for the basket raffle, which also benefitted the fund.

Overcash said support of events such as the SOUPer Bowl is highly important to UPMC Chautauqua WCA and the WCA Foundation. She said she is glad to see the community come out in support of the hospital in such a big way.

Likewise, Overcash said she is thankful for the efforts of all involved.

“As the executive director of the foundation, I am really grateful to Mary Rapaport for all the fundraising she does for her fund and the foundation,” she said. “It’s also wonderful to have the hospital volunteers and hospital working together in enriching our cause.”

UPMC Chautauqua WCA President Betsy Wright said the hospital appreciates the community’s support in what has become a fun, anticipated event.

“It’s find of a fun time to get people together in the winter,” Wright said. “It’s a fun competition.”

She thanked all the participants, supporters and organizers for their help. Wright said she did not have an official count of how many people attended the event yet, but noted that it was a good turn out.

“The place was packed at 12:30 p.m. and we were supposed to start at 1 p.m.” Wright said. “People came out early.

Wright said she couldn’t decided on a favorite soup because they were all so good.

Jim Yezzi of Media One Group, Megan Barone, and Cathy Caster of WCA helped to organize the event. The event was sponsored by Media One Group and Maplevale Farms. Vendors and their soups included: Ashville General Store with Ham and Bean soup; B&B Catering with Italian Chicken Pasta soup; Elegant Edibles with Stuffed Chicken Breast soup and Calico Chili; Gametime Sports Bar and Grill with Cheesy Beef and Broccoli soup; LaFamilia Restaurant with Mediterranean Seafood Stew; Lakewood American Legion with Italian Wedding Soup and Red Lobster with Clam Chowder. Tim Hortons was also in attendance with Tim Bits and coffee for everyone.

For those who could not make it to the event who would still like to donate, donations can be sent to P.O. Box 840, Jamestown, NY 14702-0840 or can be made online. Donors can designate where they would like their funds to be directed to.

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