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Dishing it out for winter gear

Shaylee Sokoloski, left, and Missy Toland, look over some of the soups that will be served at the DECA "Souper-Bowl" event at Superior High School on Wednesday. The money raised at the event will go towards purchasing hats, mittens and other winter clothing for children in Superior. (Jed Carlson/

A hot meal can bring daily warmth to children in Superior. Each soup supper served up Friday night in the Superior High School cafeteria will provide winter gear for elementary school students in the Superior school district. The event, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed until Friday.

The "Souper-Bowl" menu includes hearty soups -- from venison stew and creamy wild rice to split pea with ham, white chicken chili and cheesy broccoli -- paired with baked goods and desserts.

Every cent of the ticket price goes toward purchasing hats, mittens, snow pants, coats and other winter clothing.

"I just really want people to know it is for the community," said Melissa Toland, of DECA, an association of marketing students, which is coordinating the event. Everyone is welcome to attend.

DECA has four main goals -- leadership development, community involvement, career preparation and professional development. Students at Superior High School develop those skills by coordinating activities like the soup dinner or the annual tailgate party to raise money for different causes.

"The soup dinner was planned as a way to generate funds to help out the most vulnerable people in our community -- young children," said DECA adviser Paul Zollver.

The seniors in DECA have adopted a philosophy that "if a lot of people give a little bit, it can make a big difference to someone in need."

As temperatures drop and many students continue to walk to school, "Souper-Bowl" coordinators are hoping the dinner will attract many small donors to make a big impact.

DECA has been a positive experience for Toland and fellow senior Brooke Dahl.

"I like how it gets me more involved with the community and school," Dahl said, and allows her to interact with many new people.

"It's not a typical school class," Toland said. Over the last month and a half, for example, the students have worked with local businesses including Erbert and Gerbert's, Applebee's and Wild World of Wings to secure food donations. And they will be serving up meals to the public Wednesday.

DECA students two years ago dished out a similar supper. It helped a lot of kids, said Nicky Wilson, family services coordinator for the district.

"I think this is a cool thing for students to give back and get connected to their community," Wilson said.

Toland said they hope to raise at least $1,500 from the soup supper, which is part of a larger community service project, "Warmth for Winter."

The "Souper-Bowl" runs 4-7 p.m. Friday in the high school cafeteria. The cost for the meal is $5 for adults and $3 for children age 10 and younger. Tickets will be available at the door. They can also be ordered in advance by calling Zollver at 715-394-8720, ext. 138.