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Soup's on at fund-raiser for free clinic

February 18, 2001

Soup's on at fund-raiser for free clinic


Carol Mendelsohn and Janet Shaool know what it takes to feed a hungry crowd.


As organizers of the sixth annual Potter's Bowl fund-raiser for the Community Free Clinic, the women solicited potters for 150 handmade bowls and area cooks for homemade soups to feed the more than 200 people who attended the popular event Sunday.

Attendees paid $25 and received a bowl to keep and all the soup they could eat at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, said Mendelsohn.

"It's a good value for their contribution," she said.

Last year's event raised $7,000, which was used for the clinic's operating expenses.

This year they hope to exceed that amount, she said.

Clinic Executive Director Jeffrey P. Downin said he was grateful for the donations and to everyone who volunteered their time for the event.


"The clinic is so fortunate to have people aware of their mission," and willing to help out, said Downin.

This is the second year the Potter's Bowl has been at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown. Prior to that, Congregation B'nai Abraham in Hagerstown hosted it, but space could no longer accommodate the crowd.

Members of the B'nai Abraham Sisterhood and other volunteers make soups, salads, bread, cole slaw and fruit plates for the meal. The women of Trinity Lutheran Church provide desserts.

Mendelsohn said she and other volunteers arrived at 10 a.m. on Sunday to start setting tables and make side dishes.

This year's soup menu included red lentil, vegetable, matzo ball soup, sweet and sour cabbage, Persian soup, lentil, and bean and sausage.

Inside the Trinity Lutheran kitchen, volunteers bustled around warming soups and getting things ready for the tables.

Each kitchen volunteer was assigned a specific task. Downs Hewitt, a Trinity Lutheran member, was the designated dishwasher and Tom Neveil took on the job of preparing and handing out the cole slaw.

"It's salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, two kinds of cabbage and lots of mixing," said Neveil of the Shaool family recipe used Sunday night.

Volunteers made 12 gallons of cole slaw to go along with the 30 gallons of soup prepared for the meal.

Richard Kurtz, Gerald Cohen and George Miller were given the task of keeping the soups hot and mixed well.

"We're experienced," said Miller, who along with Kurtz and Cohen helped out in the kitchen previously. The men said they were eager to lend a hand for such a good cause.

He takes his kitchen job seriously, said Miller.

"People go through a lot of trouble to make this soup," he said.

Hagerstown City Councilman Lewis Metzner also volunteered in the kitchen Sunday evening. He said that his wife worked hard preparing 230 matzo balls for the matzo ball soup.

Volunteer Alan Levin, called himself the "official taste-tester," for the event. He praised the Metzner's matzo ball soup for being light and tasty. His other favorites were the Persian soup and vegetable beef.

He decided to volunteer to wait tables because "I couldn't get tickets," Levin said jokingly.

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