SOUPer Bowl Sunday VIII-Warm Soup Brings Comfort to WCA Foundation

Ashville General Store serving a cup of Souper Bowl Soup

Contributing Writer
Megan Barone
UPMC Chautauqua and WCA Foundation Director of Development

On Sunday, January 27 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., Media One Group and WCA Foundation will host SOUPer Bowl Sunday VIII, presented by The Jamestown Rebels, featuring homemade soups created and served by at least ten local restaurants and caterers. This charitable event has raised over $32,000 total to support WCA Foundation and UPMC Chautauqua.

“We are very excited to be able to partner with WCA Foundation in support of breast cancer care for The Rapaport Fund this year,” stated Jim Yezzi, Media One Radio Station Manager. “This charity event emphasizes our commitment to improving access to the highest quality of local care.”

2018 Souper Bowl Sunday Participants

The Rapaport Fund was initially started by Bill and Mary Rapaport, with the intent of helping more women and men with breast cancer. “Transportation is always an issue, and with the support of funding from the community, it gives back to those living here with having the equipment they need so they don’t have to travel,” stated Mary. “My journey with breast cancer gave me the courage, strength and hope to heal and survive. I want people to understand it is a marathon not a race, and we aren’t going to get there alone. We need the help from others, not only with emotional support, but the financial support it takes to ensure people are receiving great quality care right in their backyard. I found out I had cancer and in three days had a mastectomy. We hired a babysitter because it was exhausting to go through chemo and I had a three-year-old, two in high school and one in college. Traveling a long distance for chemo is too hard especially for parents with young children. We have UPMC Chautauqua’s Cancer Care Center right here. I just want people to feel safe to stay here and get the treatment they need.”

“This event reminds everyone that soups are comfort food for the soul. Coming in out of the cold, sitting down with family and friends all while enjoying the comforts from home cooking makes this event extra special. We have families that enjoy time together every year and have already called to reserve tickets,” stated Megan Barone, UPMC Chautauqua and WCA Foundation Director of Development. “This is a special bonding time for those wanting to get together, out of the cold, to enjoy sharing stories and tasting different soups voting on the one they believe is the best, knowing they are making a difference.”

Dianne Foti of Sandee’s Catering accepts the Best Soup award for the 2015 SOUPer Bowl.

In addition to SOUPer Bowl VIII, Mary and WCA Foundation also have an October, breast cancer awareness month gala-Boo! To Breast Cancer. This is something fun for everyone. It’s a time to dress up and forget about life for a while. “I have always loved Halloween, and it happens to be in breast cancer awareness month, so why not have a celebration and raise money?” stated Mary. “This past year was the first year, and we hope to continue the success of the event with growing it every year. We had a costume contest with awards, and celebrated those who were survivors, going through cancer, and remembering those we lost to the battle. Put the date on your calendar, October 26th!”

Approximately ten area restaurants and caterers are donating their time and talents to create homemade soups which will be sampled by all those attending who will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite. Participants will include the winner of SOUPer Bowl I – Gametime Sports Bar & Grill along with Ashville General Store, Lakewood American Legion, Group Ther-Happy, Tammy’s Country Kitchen, Trisha’s Lunchbox, Double Tree Hotel, and Prime Steak House. It will be a fight for the win for these restaurants to be named and crowned the winner of SOUPer Bowl VIII! The winner will be awarded a trophy and bragging rights for the year!

“We are impressed with all of the community support,” says Megan “Our community is once again demonstrating its outstanding commitment to enhancing the technology and care making us stronger every day.”

In addition to the soups, SOUPer Bowl Sunday VIII will feature music from DJ’s Unlimited and an outstanding benefit basket raffle featuring items donated by local businesses as well as supporting businesses in other areas. Mary has been instrumental with the basket raffle; from making blankets to gathering items and putting the baskets together. Her passion is seen with her dedication to raising as much money and awareness she can to support her fund.

WCA Foundation of Jamestown, N.Y. fosters, supports, and enriches the healthcare initiatives of UPMC Chautauqua. The Rapaport Fund has been able to purchase a laser-aimer for the c-arm this year with their funds. This is used for certain precise surgical procedures. In total for 2019, WCA Foundation has given $573,748 in restricted grants used for specific needs at UPMC Chautauqua.

Pre-sale tickets ($10 for adults and $5 for children under 12) are available at the UPMC Chautauqua Office of Development at (716-664-8423) and Lakewood American Legion, and Media One Group, or you can purchase tickets online by visiting Tickets will also be available at the door ($12 for adults and $6 for children under 12). If you are interested in supporting the event with a monetary donation, sponsorship, or in-kind donation, please contact Megan at 716-664-8423.