Monday, November 7, 2011


The diverse array of smells that wafted through Berry College's Krannert Lobby during the 3rd annual SOUP-Off enticed hundreds of Berry students and faculty to indulge in the all-you-can-eat extravaganza. To say that there were a variety of soups that were entered into the competition would be quite the understatement. Among the particapants were Lauren Franke and Danielle Krukowski. They represented The Berry Student Nursing Club and entered a gluten-free pumpkin ginger soup, paired with gluten-free crackers. The College Republicans entered a “GOP Gumbo”, with tasty chicken and sausage added. And the guys from the Conference Room, sponsored by Viking Fusion, made their third appearance in the SOUP-off with their always playful “Kids' Soup”, made up of milk, oreos, thin mints, and other various cookies.

When asked why each group entered the SOUP-Off, the answers seemed varied. Beth Anne Dunagan, a representative for the College Republicans said that it seemed like a great platform to publicize the club. Lauren Franke suffers from Celiac disease and wanted to raise awareness by making a tasty soup that people could enjoy while also accommodating her diet. Steven Walker of the Conference Room said the group's fun 'soups' have always been well received and people enjoyed that their soup was always out of the ordinary. One common thread that these three participants share, as well as all 38 that competed in the SOUP-Off, is that they entered to help support the SOUP – the Sponsorship of Orphans in Uganda Project.

The project, founded by Berry senior Brin Enterkin, is to raise money and awareness for orphans in the remote village of Isita, Uganda. Among the needs that are attempted to be met are holistic living environments, proper education, and affordable medical treatment for the children. About thirty minutes into the SOUP-Off, Brin took to the stage to thank both the participants and those in attendance for coming out to the event. Brin shared the story about a young child named Adam, whose leg had been broken for five years and had never received proper help. As a result, his leg was wounded and infected. Brin realized the child was in pain and took him to a local medical center. The doctor informed her that if Adam had been brought in any later, he could have risked amputation or even death.

Brin stressed the importance of what improvements are still left to be made in Uganda, but “If even one child is helped, then the SOUP has done its job. The SOUP is here to stay!” I was able to briefly speak to Brin after she spoke to the crowd and asked her how it felt to see her passion come to fruition. Her face lit up and said that it felt incredible to know that two years ago, it was nothing and now it is a reality.

Not everyone who walked into the SOUP-Off knew exactly what they were getting into. One such student, sophomore Josh Wilkinson of Seattle, Washington, was admittedly drawn to the event solely for the fact that he could consume all the soup that he wanted for just $3. However, he ultimately walked away with a greater knowledge of how much his $3 actually helped out the cause. There were also many first-time attendees who so enjoyed their time at the SOUP-Off that they intended on coming back as long as Berry kept throwing the event.

The Sociology and Anthropology Club's potato soup walked away with the coveted 1st place title, KCAB's chicken and dumplings took home the 2nd place trophy, and the Berry Accounting Club's spicy chili was awarded the Trustee's vote. However, everyone walked away a winner in some from the SOUP-Off, whether they showed off their culinary skills or got to eat a lot of hot soup on a cold evening. The ultimate prize of the SOUP-Off, however, has nothing to do with a trophy or a tasty soup. It is knowing that each person in the Krannert Ballroom helped to support the orphans in Uganda who do not have the means to support themselves.

Article: Hayden Sloan
Photograph: Alyssa Hollingsworth