TOME—If your favorite football team didn’t make it to the big game this weekend, consider being part of a different kind of celebration.
For the 11th year, the Tomé Art Gallery is hosting its annual Soup-R Bowl to raise money for scholarships for local students.
This year’s event is changing things up by featuring soups made by several local restaurants. Soup will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 3, at The University of New Mexico-Valencia campus’ Student Community Center.
The handmade bowls for the Soup-R Bowl are $15 each, and available at the gallery, 2930 N.M. 47 in Tomé, and the UNM-Valencia campus bookstore, 280 La Entrada Road in Tomé.
Bowls will be available at both the gallery and the university the day of the event.
In addition to the soup, there will be homemade breads and desserts donated by gallery and community members, as well as a silent auction.
Jan Pacifico, gallery owner and one of the event organizers, said they decided to partner with local restaurants for the soups to save time and labor for the organizers.
Since it’s inception, gallery members have cooked every year — graduating from slow cookers that held quarts to large soup pots at UNM-Valencia’s kitchen that held gallons.
“Since the soups will be donated, more of the proceeds can go to the scholarships and education,” Pacifico said. “We would spend hundreds of dollars on ingredients.”
Restaurants donating soup this year include, Green House Bistro and Bakery, bringing chicken coconut curry; Teofilo’s Restaurante is making green chile stew; Sopa’s Restaurant will provide chicken and dumplings, and the Valencia Community Gardens group is making “three sisters” soup, with squash, beans and corn.
Bosquejos Coffee, a Bosque Farms coffee shop, is supplying the coffee for the event.
The number of people attending the Soup-R Bowl has increased every year, Pacifico said, which means the money raised has increased as well.
“Every year the numbers have gone up. Last year, we were able to award three $1,000 scholarships,” Pacifico said. “This event is becoming more and more connected to the community. We held four workshops at the studio at the campus, where people could pay the $15 and make their own bowl.
“Groups of local potters went on bowl-making sprees. They made more than 100 bowls in a day. People from the community are donating bowls. Some of my students have made bowls.”
With hundreds and hundreds of bowls for sale, Marcus Gallegos, UNM-Valencia’s manager of development and donor relations, is hoping to double last year’s attendance of about 350 people.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Virginia Casados Clark and James Vaughn scholarships through the endowment fund at UNM-Valencia.
When the event started, there was one scholarship named for the late Virginia Casados Clark, a local renowned straw applique artist who died in 2008.
In 2017, a second named scholarship is being established in honor of Jim Vaughn, who passed away that year. Vaughn was a well-known tin artisan and a founding member of the gallery.
The scholarships are part of the UNM-Valencia Endowment Fund, which means the money raised at the Soup-R Bowl will be matched one-to-one by U.S. Department of Education funds, thus doubling the amount available for local students.
Last year, the event raised $6,400 for scholarships, bringing the 11 year total to $38,250.
By hosting the Soup-R Bowl, the gallery has become a major sponsor of UNM-Valencia’s annual Gala, its primary scholarship fundraiser, which is also matched with federal funds.
The Gala is marking its 10th year this year, and will be held on Saturday, March 2, at Isleta Casino and Resort.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.