The clock hit 5:30 on Friday, February 17 as the Soup War commenced. The crowd of approximately 150 funneled in to the Moose Bar & Grill’s basement for the first annual Edison Tommies fundraiser. With 32 soups featured, there was a lot of intrigue and soup to choose from.
“Nobody is leaving hungry tonight!” said Edison parent Lisa Friedman.
Each person grabbed four to five soup cups and partook in the selection, voting for the top three soups made by Edison athletic teams and parents using a ballot system (otherwise known as the “Taster’s Voice”). The top three winning soups received cash prizes. More showed up than anticipated for the Soup War, with the unusually warm conditions in February.
“This is a great option for all teams at Edison high school, providing a collective all-in-one potluck and voting system to take off burden from each individual team for fundraising,” noted school board representative Jenny Arneson.
“After raising a significant amount of money for Edison’s baseball team last year to travel, I thought why just baseball? I wanted to do something fair for all teams. Many cannot afford equipment. This is helping kids through fundamentals, in sports, for life. Never say I can’t,” added Edison activities council coordinator Shari Seymour.
Current Edison parents, and some alumni parents came to grab a spoon and vote. State Senator Kari Dziedzic was seen entering the Soup War, as well as first ward council member Kevin Reich.
Dave Salzer, a social studies teacher as well as assistant baseball and football coach, said that “It’s students first, and athletics second. We support three sport athletes, and it’s so great to see the neighborhood show up like this and support the community and school.”
The community lingered and laughed over the blue and yellow Edison-colored tables, placing bids in a silent auction for local businesses’ gift cards, and playing raffle games into the evening. The benefits from this fundraiser go right into Edison’s official non-profit 501(c)(3), and count toward a tax write-off for those who donated or participated in the raffle.
“Once the Minnesota ‘heat wave’ shows up, it’s ironic that we get this big of a soup turnout in 60 degrees,” added Salzer. Vice chair for Edison activities council Tammy Rusnacko articulated, “This is an annual event and we welcome everyone. Potlucks in Northeast are always special.”
First place ($100) went to the Italian tortellini cooked up by hockey team member John Neil. Second place ($75) was awarded to baseball team member Garret Nison’s chicken curry. Third place ($25) went to the chicken with rice soup made by Connie Blegen of the baseball team.
(Photo by Nik Linde)