The Canadian County 4-H Volunteer Leaders Council will present the annual fundraising gala, “Soupapalooza,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the Canadian County Expo Center, 3001 Jensen Road East in El Reno.
This much-anticipated evening of fellowship, soup judging, friendly outbidding, and early Christmas gift purchasing is already setting up to be one of the largest events yet.
Each year, Canadian County 4-H clubs, sponsors and local businesses donate live and silent auction items to raise nearly $10,000 to support Canadian County 4-H’ers.
These funds provide Canadian County 4-H the opportunity to send 4-H’ers to district and state competitions, assist with leadership trip costs and expand countywide leadership and citizenship programs.
Soupapalooza is open to the public, and attendees can expect an evening of fundraising centered on a variety of soups to sample.
Each Canadian County 4-H club dreams up their own theme, prepares a soup, and does their best to impress the judges.
Attendees are the judges who select the best soup by donating money in each club’s “tip jar.”
Following the soup sampling, the emcee announces the Outstanding Junior and Senior County Fair Exhibitor Awards and then a live and silent auction of custom items becomes the climax of the evening’s activities.
At the end of the night, bidders may check out with cash, check or credit card.
“Soupapalooza has been a great addition to our county program,” said Todd Branson, Canadian County 4-H youth development extension educator. “First, this event brings our families and county partners together to share an evening of fellowship and fundraising for our youth.
“Second, our partners are able to learn more about our county’s plans for the upcoming year, and many find ways to become directly involved in shaping these experiences our youth are planning to encounter.”
In years past, Canadian County 4-H supporters have encouraged 4-H to continue offering these tremendous leadership opportunities to Canadian County 4-H youth at little to no cost to Canadian County 4-H members.
Some have even offered extraordinary resources to enhance these experiential learning trips.
More specifically, these trips include the annual Dual County 4-H Camp open to all Canadian County 8-13-year-old members, the annual Canadian County Leadership Summit, the West District Leadership Conference, the State 4-H Roundup, and the New Mexico Leadership Conference.
Canadian County 4-H continues to grow.
At the most recent Volunteer Leaders Council certification workshop, the program certified 33 volunteers to work directly with 4-H youth.
During the Canadian County Free Fair, the 4-H project exhibits continue to experience a positive trend in growth and the Canadian County fall 4-H horse show nearly doubled in entries and exhibitors.
This fun evening of fellowship Oct. 17 aims to elevate 4-H’s positive youth development footprint by sending youth to leadership camps across Oklahoma.
Plans are also in place to use funds raised from Soupapalooza to enhance organizational and leadership resources for all clubs.
The ultimate reach is to drive our best to be better while positively shaping tomorrow’s leaders.
The Canadian County Cooperative Extension Service supports Canadian County residents in the areas of 4-H youth development, family and consumer Sciences, horticulture, and agriculture.
The team is comprised by Todd Branson, 4-H youth development professional; Courtney Keck, extension horticulturist and Master Gardener expert; Donna Stangl-Jung, Family and Consumer Sciences expert; and led by Kyle Worthington, agriculture extension professional and county extension director.