What’s better than spending a cold January evening eating delicious soup and listening to live jazz music?
The answer: doing it while raising money for a Penticton and Summerland school initiative focussed on improving life for children at two orphanages in Tanzania.
This year there is a twist on the annual Soup ’N Swing event, a fundraiser to help Raise the Roof by funding building supplies and hiring contractors to finish the roof at the Camp Joshua and Camp Moses orphanages in Arusha, Tanzania.
“Soup is a big part of this event. We have a pottery club at our school now so we decided to make bowls that can be bought at the event,” Kyla Simpson, a Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary School said.
Simpson added the club, which has about 10 regular members, has worked hard since October creating the beautiful bowls. So far they have about 60 made.
“There are people in the club that have never done it before. If they’re in Grade 9 they haven’t had the chance. We’ve put a lot of work into the bowls,” she said.
For an additional fee, attendees will get to fill those bowls with delicious African soup that the staff at the Cannery Brewing Company is preparing. Those not wanting to buy the handmade pottery bowls do not have to and can still eat the delicious soup.
“It’s an African peanut soup with chicken in it, and there will be a vegetarian option. I’ve never actually had it personally, but everyone that has said it is delicious.”
Throughout the evening, several local performers will take the stage including the Justin Glibbery Trio. Glibbery is the music teacher at Penticton Secondary School.
Also taking the stage will be Grade 11 Princess Margaret student, Jessica Singleton. She will front the Sing ’N Swing band. The Sing ‘N Swing includes student and community musicians.
“It’s going to be great. They’re all so talented,” she said.
Each year 20 to 30 Grade 10 and 11 students from Maggie, Pen High and Summerland Secondary go to Tanzania to help improve conditions at the orphanages.
In the past seven years the students have built a classroom, a boy’s dorm, a library, a kitchen and work is underway on a dining hall.
The dining hall build has taken two years, and with the walls up, contractors now have to be hired to put on the roof.
“When the dining hall is finished, they will be protected from the elements, have a place to host events and possibly raise their own money to become more self-sufficient,” a press release from the fundraising committee stated.
Although Simpson has not travelled to Tanzania herself, she’s had friends involved in the project and listened to many presentations.
Each student and community chaperone must pay their own way, so all money raised is used to improve the orphanages.
“It’s such a great thing that they’ve been doing. I wanted to help support them here,” she said.
Simpson is hoping about 150 to 200 people come out to the event. The roof project is expected to cost $30,000 to complete.
“There are several fundraisers throughout the year. This is one of the biggest,” she said.
The Soup ‘N Swing event is being held Jan. 20 at the Cannery Brewing Company. Tickets are $10 each and available at Cannery Brewing on Ellis Street or Princess Margaret Secondary School. Pottery bowls cost extra.