By SHERIDAN CYR
Bread For Life officials joined hands with the Southington High School Key Club, the DePaolo Middle School leadership program, and more than 30 local restaurants for their annual Soup Nite, held at the high school cafeteria on Oct. 17.
“Soup Nite is a great community event where all proceeds benefit programs and services at BFL,” said BFL executive director Donna Ayer. “It’s important for us to engage with the community that we serve.”
Students from SHS and DePaolo volunteered their time, alongside BFL volunteers, to help take guests’ orders and serve them. Local restaurants donated all of the soup, bread, desserts and beverages.
“This is an important event for us that involves a lot of community ‘togetherness,’” said BFL board of directors chair Mike Soltys. “It kicks off the giving season. BFL relies on the generosity of Southington residents, which funds our budget. Soup Nite helps add to our exposure and helps us educate people on our expanding services.”
Student volunteers were no stranger to community service. The SHS Key Club is the longest running club the high school has. Beth Hosmer, the club’s advisor, explained the students in the club are required to perform at least four hours of community service per month, and Soup Nite is always a favorite for club members. The leadership program at DePaolo has around 400 students who regularly help out in various ways within the community.
“We encourage the students to get out into the community and give back,” said DePaolo assistant principal Chris Palmieri. “It offers great opportunities for the students.”
Gabe LeBlanc, SHS sophomore, is the secretary of the Key Club, and he said that it was important to give back to the community. “It has allowed me to make a legitimate difference in the community and see first-hand how much impact one person can make,” he said.
SHS junior, Anh Tran, shared similar sentiments. “It has given me great opportunities to do community service, and has helped me improve my communication skills, and has helped me gain confidence,” she said.
For more information about BFL services, programs, or ways to give back, visit southingtonbreadforlife.org.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.