Toledo SOUP returns June 22 with summer luau themeWritten by Danielle Stanton | | email@example.com
Toledo SOUP will serve up its fifth crowd-funding event from 5-8 p.m. June 22 at the Mad Ave. Collective, 1600 Madison Ave., this time with a “summer luau” theme.
For $5 at the door, participants eat soup made by local chefs and listen to presentations of community project proposals. Afterward, the audience votes on which project they liked best. The winner gets the proceeds to go toward funding their project.
Normally, about 200 people show up at the event, raising about $1,000 for projects aimed at improving the city, said attorney Eric Britton, one of the founders of Toledo SOUP.
“I love the idea,” Britton said. “It gets people from the community involved in deciding who gets grant funding – it isn’t just for bankers. And, it gets the people who are showing up and presenting a chance to hear what else is going on in the Toledo community. It helps get the word out there.”
Since forming in 2012, Toledo SOUP has provided grants and brought awareness to five community initiatives, organizer Emily Rippe said.
For the June 22 event, proposals were accepted throughout May. The judges hailed from around the community, some from bigger organizations that may be interested in their own funding of the proposals. At least, that is one hope of the event, Britton said.
Four proposals will be selected for this next event. As of June 16, three had been selected and a fourth was in a tie.
“We had some real strong proposals. We typically have more we want to take on than we can find slots for,” Britton said. “We have three clear winners and a fourth slot – we’ll see if we can break the log jam.”
The three selected so far are: Jean Schoen from the Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio who wants to publish an educational book on cancer for children in the classroom and in after-school groups; Sonya Williams and Brandy Fuller who want to expand the late night basketball program at the Frederick Douglas Community Association to curb crime; and Viviana Esquivel, whose project, the East Side Art Studio, aims to offer free art classes at an East side child care center.
Prior Toledo SOUP winners include Derek Bunch of New Life Urban Agriculture; Elizabeth Harris and Unique Jones of Glass City Goat Girls; Maxwell Austin of Glass City Pedicabs; Genevieve Abalos of The Art of Hope; and Audrey Johnson of Art Around Town.
Harris, Jones and Abalos will be at the June 22 event to give an update on how they have used their grants.
“There is such a wide variety,” Britton said. “What I look for is one that is going to improve the lives of kids and people struggling. I’m really happy when I see [proposals] like the East Side Arts program. That’s oriented toward giving kids a completely different experience. I like to see those that reach out to people struggling in life.”
The June 22 event will be the first “themed” event, organizers said. It’s called “Summer Luau.” Guest chefs will create tropical-inspired soups and a punch cocktail and a Hawaiian themed décor will adorn the space. Organizers are also planning an “icebreaker” event involving different colored leis.
“While Toledo SOUP has always been about empowering community members to make and be the changes they want to see in Toledo, it’s also a way to honor the city we live in and connect with other community members,” organizer Emily Rippe said by email. “At the end of the day, it’s a celebration of Toledo and all of its great ideas and people.”
Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children 12 and younger. For more information, visit toledosoup.com.
Tags: Brandy Fuller, Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio, East Side Art Studio, Emily Rippe, Eric Britton, Frederick Douglas Community Association, Jean Schoen, Sonya Williams, Toledo SOUP, Viviana Esquivel