Letter – Fundraiser is a team effort

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Souper Saturday is an annual fundraiser sponsored by Isle of Wight Christian Outreach Program to assist our neighbors in need with heating and cooling costs. 

Starting in 1991, and for the next 25 years, Becky Farmer effortlessly coordinated this event, held at Trinity United Methodist Church, before handing the reins over to me in 2016. Literally hundreds of volunteers from churches, businesses, clubs, as well as individuals, contribute to the success of this event. 

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I feel compelled this year to name a few who went over and above the call of duty to ensure a joyous day of fellowship and community coming together for the greater good.

First, thank you, God, for sustaining me. Thank you to my right-hand ladies who volunteer at COP on a daily basis and have become a part of my core team to help bring the puzzle pieces together in the weeks leading up to the event and for lifting me up off the floor after a meltdown the day of: Trish Carbone, Cathy Regan and Cheryl Rowlands. And to Jeff Kime, who spent the better part of a day shopping with me, bless his heart!  

Then there are the individuals who lead their own teams the day of: Cindy Vaughan and Linda Spady, plus Roger Gill and his hard-working scouts in the drive-through, Becky Farmer and Denay Smith in the indoor serving line, and Paul Stoeker and Ben Halle of the Latter Day Saints in the kitchen.  

Participating restaurants who donated amazing soups: Main Street Cafe, Cockeyed Rooster, Smithfield Station, Smithfield Inn, Taste of Smithfield, Q Daddys, Wharf Hill, Captain Chuck-a-Mucks, Smithfield High School culinary students and Gatling Pointe Yacht Club.

I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Smithfield Foods for donating hot dogs, and Herb De Groft for donating ham for ham biscuits.

And last but not in the least, thank you to my devoted, loving and patient husband, Chuck Lawrence, for enduring my crazy mood swings after sleepless nights.

And to everyone else who came, worked, donated and ate – thank you from the bottom of my heart!


Cris Lawrence