Opportunity House announces the 21st annual Souper Bowl on Monday, January 30, 2023 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel located at 701 Penn Street, Reading, Pennsylvania. Tickets can be purchased here.
This annual event begins with a Preview Party at 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm with hors d’oeuvres and drinks compliments of The Hitching Post Restaurant. Preview Party attendees have the first choice in selecting beautiful handmade pottery bowls crafted by Berks County artisans. The main event and general admission begins at 5:30 with guests selecting their bowl from a vast array of pottery bowls created by local high school students, volunteers and pottery hobbyists. Each bowl is a unique creation and represents the personal craftsmanship of the potters. Many guests collect these one-of-a-kind bowls.
After a two-year drive through event, Souper Bowl is returning as an in person event. “We are happy to return once again to an in person event,” noted Stacy. The DoubleTree by Hilton was selected to accommodate the 400+ people who are expected to attend the event. “The Berks County community continues to support Souper Bowl each year.” It’s a welcome break from the winter doldrums and is considered a premier networking event as well.
The Souper Bowl main sponsors include Supreme Ceilings, Boscov’s Department Store, and Visions Federal Credit Union. Additional sponsors include Dumpster Dudez, Ethosource, Keystone First Community Health Choices, M&T Bank, Reading Truck. “Our sponsors continue to make this event possible each year,” noted Stacy Perlaki, Development Director.
Souper Bowl showcases Berks County’s best chefs. Over 25 restaurants will provide a soup tasting that includes traditional offerings like chicken noodle soup or chili to chowders and unique creations that demonstrates their culinary talents. In addition to supporting the mission of Opportunity House, chefs vie for bragging rights as best soup in Berks County. It gives attendees an opportunity to sample cuisines of local restaurants.
In addition to soup tasting and selecting a handcrafted pottery bowl, guest enjoy the spirited silent auction that continues with a strong pottery theme. Berks County’s top pottery artisans donate their work to raise funds for Opportunity House. “The online auction is open to the public. People do not have to attend the event to bid on unique pottery including redware, wood and other materials,” added Stacy. The silent auction will be available prior to the event and close the evening of Souper Bowl.
Souper Bowl is one of the main fundraising events for Opportunity House. All proceeds benefit the program and services of Opportunity House. Each year over 500 men, women, children and families seek emergency shelter at Opportunity House. Without Opportunity House, they would be forced to sleep on the streets, in tents outdoors or in cars during the brutally cold winter weather. During a Code Blue emergency, when temperatures dip exceptionally low or there is an impending snow storm, Opportunity House expands it’s services to accommodate more clients.
When clients arrive at Opportunity House they receive a safe place to sleep, meals and snacks, access to showers and laundry facilities, and personal case management services. Opportunity House provides the skills, tools and resources clients need to return to stable housing. This includes assisting with obtaining identification and benefits, job search assistance, housing assistance and life skills. Clients who successfully complete the program are considered for Opportunity House’s transitional and permanent housing programs. By providing ongoing support to clients, they maintain and remain stably housed for the long term.
“We rely on a dedicated group of volunteers to make Souper Bowl a success,” noted Stacy. Thanks to the continued support of volunteers and of the community, Opportunity House continues to be a beacon of hope for those experience homelessness.”