Dinner to benefit soup kitchen

GREENFIELD — An evening of fun and fellowship — including the spirited bidding of a live auction — is planned for a fundraiser aimed at feeding the hungry in Hancock County.

Tickets are still available for the fifth annual Leap of Faith dinner and auction to benefit the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen, which serves between 110 and 120 residents daily and saw a 10 percent increase in need from 2014 to 2015.

The event, to be conducted 5:30 p.m. April 9, at Park Chapel Christian Church, 1176 E. McKenzie Road, will be catered by Grant Ford of BBQ’n Fools and Jan Brown, a soup kitchen volunteer. Dinner begins at 6 p.m., followed by an auction led by father-son team Wayne and Kyle Addison.

The goal for this year’s event is to raise $35,000, which will go toward the operating costs of the soup kitchen, the annual budget of which is $132,000, said Jill Ebbert, the soup kitchen’s executive director. The event has always exceeded its yearly goal, Ebbert said. Last year it raised more than $25,000, and organizers are hoping to build on that momentum.

The soup kitchen, which opened its doors in 2009, is dedicated to the memory of Kenneth Butler, a former Greenfield Fire Department chief. The kitchen depends on a small army of volunteers as well as donations of both nonperishable and fresh food from the community.

The Leap of Faith dinner goes a long way to fill the gaps, Ebbert said.

Dinner will feature beef brisket, carrots and snow peas, wedge potatoes, spinach salad, hot rolls, cheesecake and angel food cake.

Board member Judy Crist said those who attend should try to arrive early to check out more than 100 auction items up for bid.

The auction this year will feature gifts valued from $20 to $1,500. The crown jewel up for grabs is a timeshare vacation for either Mexico or Orlando, donated by Dane and B.J. Erlewein, Ebbert said.

There are a number of getaway packages, said board member Chris Wade, in addition to items like a gift certificate to the HandleBar, a mobile pub that invites patrons to pedal through downtown Indianapolis while enjoying their drinks.

In addition to the auction, there will be games and a 50/50 raffle.

Countless volunteers have helped to prepare for the annual dinner, Ebbert said, and more than 200 businesses, churches and individuals have made contributions toward the event, whether in the form of a donation to the auction or a monetary donation.

“The community has always rallied around us,” she said.

If you go

Tickets for the Leap of Faith dinner to benefit the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen are $35 and can be purchased at the soup kitchen, 202 E. Main St., or through PayPal at the website, kbmsk.org.

If using the online option, select the donation as being for the Leap of Faith dinner. Reserve tables are also still available.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.