By JAMES BELL
Staff, volunteers and the board of directors from the Humane Society of the High Plains, 2050 East US Highway 40, this week are finalizing preparations for their largest fundraiser of the year, the 23rd annual "Soup 'R Bowl," on Jan. 26 at the Ellis County Fairgrounds.
"We have pretty much everything set up," said Betty Hansen, manager of the Virginia Miller Animal Shelter. "We have a really great number of volunteers this year and our board of directors has been working really hard."
"It's fun for our staff, it's fun for our board of directors, it's fun for the volunteers that help us," she said. "It's just a fun day."
Four more chefs have signed up for this year's event, for a total of 17, which Hansen said is "more than usual," but continues the trend of a larger event every year.
A few years ago the event had become so large they had to expand.
"This year, again, we will be using both buildings, the Shank and the Unrein," Hansen said.
Attendees of the event will also have the opportunity to visit vendor booths, win door prizes and enter a raffle.
"It's always a great event, we always have lots of people come out," Hansen said. "It's a great social event."
"There will be a lot of tables if you want to sit and eat," or you can wander around and visit, she said.
One of the more popular items at the event is a large dessert table.
"The last couple of years we have had a huge dessert table, that keeps getting bigger every year," Hansen said. "It's just about anything you can think of is going to be on the dessert table."
While the event is designed to be fun for the community, it also serves a purpose for the society.
"It's the biggest fundraiser that we have every year — and it just keeps getting bigger," Hansen said. "When we do a fundraiser, those funds go directly to the animals."
Specifically, the proceeds go toward a medical fund for animals at the shelter.
And Hansen also said attendees need not worry about missing the other "bowl."
"It's a week before the actual game, so you don't have to worry about that," she said.
The event is set to kick off at 11 1.m. and run until 1 p.m. on Jan. 26 at the Ellis County Fairgrounds.
"We are pumped and almost ready to go," Hansen said.
Tickets are available at the shelter, Cerv's locations, all three Hays veterinarians and PetSense, Barkly Suites and Fur is Flying for $7 prior to the event and $8 at the door.
For more about the event, visit hshponline.org or call 625-5252