Soup’s On

Residents of Naperville recently turned out in support of the Rotary Club’s fifth annual Soup’s On, held at Tellabs. Visitors could sample food from thirty different Naperville vendors while giving back to the community.

All the money earned from the event is divided between Loaves & Fishes, DuPage PADS, and Hesed House. The three charities all give back to homeless and needy residents of DuPage County.

“[DuPage PADS] will be using the funding for our case management efforts,” said Carol Simler, the Executive Director for DuPage PADS. “Moving people out of homelessness and into a place that they can call home again in our communities.”

Every element from the food, to the venue, to the entertainment is donated.

“100 percent of the ticket proceeds go directly to the charities,” said Loaves & Fishes Executive Director, Charles McLimans. “We keep the cost of the event very low. We get sponsors to sponsor it. It has a tremendous impact in the community!”

Five years ago, Soup’s On was created by My Chef Catering owner Bill Garlough.

“Rotary club recognized five years ago with the tough economic time we are in, that we wanted to create a fundraiser that would be good for the community and good for the local food pantries and shelters,” said Garlough. “[The Rotary Club] felt those were organizations that would need help for these tough economic times.”

Organizers hope that by attending the event, residents will be more aware of homelessness in the area.

“No one really knows that there’s a lot of people out there in this area that are struggling,” said Karen Garlough, owner of My Chef Catering. “[A person could be] a few paychecks away from homelessness.”

By holding the event in October, The Rotary Club is able to help the benefiting charities prepare for the holiday season.

They rush the money before Thanksgiving to them so that they can put the money to good use before the holidays,” said Bill Garlough. “To try to make people’s holidays brighter.”

“This year we are hoping to clear over $150,000,” said Karen Garlough. “Before the end of the year when it gets cold, and it’s Christmas, and you want to have a couple presents for your kids. Each one of those charities will get $50,000.”

Over the past five years, Soup’s On has earned more than $600,000, to be distributed throughout the community.


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