On the heels of a great Industry Appreciation Day, the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank held their 20th Soup Supper and Auction. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski and Governor Bill Walker were also able to stay and support that event and community effort to be sure no one goes hungry on the Peninsula. According to Food Bank executive director Linda Swarner the non-profit organization provides food to more than 72 non-profit organizations and local households touching more than 20 percent of the borough population, a bit more than 11,000 people in the community. The Soup Supper raises 20 percent of the Food Banks annual budget that in 2015 processed over 1 million pounds of donated food that made up over 8,000 meals.
Emcee for the night was Cameron Hunt, vice president of the Tesoro Kenai refinery, one of the Platinum Sponsors of event. Auctioneer was Sen. Peter Micciche. Other Platinum Sponsors included BP, ConocoPhillips and Central Peninsula Hospital. The silent auction included 180 donated gift baskets and works of art by renowned artists. Governor Walker donated a day with the Governor for a high school student that was purchased by Blaine Gilman for over $1,000. Another popular outcry auction item was a 49 Star Flag that also was bought by Gilman. 17 different soups prepared by 13 local restaurants and chefs were offered to those who had a ticket for the sellout event along with a hand crafted bowl turned by local potters. This year’s Supper was dedicated to the memory of Ron and Pam Delaney, “We dedicated our 20th Anniversary to Ron and Pam. Ron was the manager at Fred Myer’s store in Soldotna for many years and was great to work with in bringing the Soup Supper to where it is today,” said Swarner. This year’s event she said was the result of over 100 volunteers, “They were involved before, during and after. We had over 300 attend which was a great success even though we didn’t reach dollar goal. Over 300 bowls from Kenai Potter’s Guild, SoHi ceramics class, Anchorage Potter’s and fabric bowls from Five Star Realty this year. The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank extends our sincerest appreciation to the businesses, organizations, churches and individuals who have donated items for this year’s dinner and auction. Your generosity does not go unnoticed!” said Swarner.