Chartwell Aylmer defends title as soup champions

What better way to celebrate fall's arrival then with a hearty bowl of soup? Residents and dietary staff at Chartwell Aylmer Long Term Care Residence did just that when they entered United Way's 2nd Annual Supreme Soup Challenge in support of tackling poverty in the community. Not only did they enter this year's contest as the returning winners of last year's competition, but they also left with the title again! Chartwell Aylmer's winning recipe was a beef barley soup prepared by six of its own residents.  

The exciting event was held on September 23 at the Central Family Restaurant in Aylmer. Alongside Chartwell's beef barley soup were three other entries that included a curry squash soup entered by the restaurant itself, as well as beef dumpling soup by the German-Canadian Club. The community gathered and purchased $5 tasting tickets that allowed them to try all of the soups and vote for their favourite.

We are the champions

At the end of the event, the "People's Choice Golden Ladle" was awarded to Chartwell Aylmer for its second year in a row. Deborah Hoshal, Program Manager at the residence, said the enthusiasm was palpable for the reigning champs.  

"We were all very excited to win for the second year in a row," says Hoshal. "When we brought the golden ladle back home, we paraded it around the home playing 'We Are the Champions.'"

Hoshal explains that the soup entry was a team effort. The residents council, dietary staff and six residents all took part in the process—from deciding what soup to make to preparing the vegetables for the recipe.

"Our residents were very proud to take part in this event," she says. "It gave them a sense of community involvement and pride knowing they'd contributed to an important community charity."

About the event

The soup challenge served as the launch of Aylmer United Way's fundraising campaign for 2015-16. This campaign serves as a movement to help reduce poverty and build a strong community. For the 2014-15 year, the campaign raised more than $43,000, which was $3,000 over their goal. The campaign hopes to reach that goal for this year. At the end of the soup challenge,127 taste-testers were in attendance and a total of $636 was raised.

Hoshal says many members of Chartwell Aylmer—including family members, volunteers and staff—attended the soup competition in support of the event. The competition was such a success that Chartwell Aylmer plans to attend again next year with another traditional soup recipe.

"We have our title to defend," Hoshal winks.

In photo: Chartwell Aylmer resident helps to prepare the soup