Helpline's Soup-port fundraiser Wednesday

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Helpline, an emergency social service agency for Walla Walla County, will host its fifth annual Soup-port luncheon fundraiser at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 415 W. Alder St.

Helpline will serve the soup in a unique, hand-painted decorative bowl that attendees get to keep and take home. All of the proceeds from the luncheon will go toward funding Helpline's community services.

Helpline runs the STEP Women's Shelter for homeless women and provides many other emergency services to the Walla Walla community.

"Helpline provides both screening and referral along with direct assistance for utilities, rent, prescription drugs, food, clothing, transportation and numerous other emergent needs," said Daniel Willms, director. "Helpline's focus is preventing or abating homelessness."

For the fundraiser, which usually draws more than 400 community members, a $25 donation entitles attendees to all the soup they can eat along with the unique bowl, which community members created for the event. "Community groups, local schools and individuals make and donate the bowls for Soup-port," Willms said. "Many of the bowls are done through the Carnegie Art Center."

Walla Walla Community College culinary arts students will make the soup for the event.

There will be musical entertainment by Dr. Mark Brown and Dr. Sam Kirtley as well.

Willms hopes that Walla Walla residents will attend the event and support Helpline and its mission in helping the those with emergency needs.

"(People should attend) to support the ongoing work of Helpline in our community to serve the indigent and working poor and enjoy a bowl of soup and the company of the great friends of Helpline," Willms said. "The Walla Walla community has been very supportive of Soup-port since its inception. I am so grateful for the compassion of our citizens who care about those in need."

Joe Volpert can be reached at joevolpert@wwub.com

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