‘SOUPer’ Bowl Sunday

LAKEWOOD – Hundreds of people packed into the dining room of the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club for the “SOUPer Bowl,” chatting with each other over the blasting music Sunday afternoon. Around the room, employees from 19 restaurants and caterers provided samples of homemade soup – all to benefit WCA Hospital.

SOUPer Bowl Sunday started three years ago at the American Legion before moving to the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club this year to allow more potential for growth. Sunday’s event was expected to bring in a record 500 people.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase some of what is in the area,” said Karl J. Sisson, director of development for WCA Hospital. “It’s an opportunity to show off the restaurants and the caterers, and some of their creations.”

The idea was created three years ago by Brad Zimmer, who got the idea to hold an event between the Super Bowl and the conference championship football games. The event – part of a popular trend around the country – gives people who are used to watching football on Sundays something to do.

The proceeds of the event will go to WCA Hospital for their robotics surgery program.

“The surgical program (at WCA) is fantastic,” Sisson said. “… Robotic surgery allows them (the surgeons) to do minimally invasive surgery – which is more precise. There’s a single incision, less scaring, less bleeding and a faster recovery time.”

The robotics program at WCA began last February, and more than 100 robotic surgeries have been performed already. In its first two years, the SOUPer Bowl raised more than $8,000 to support the construction of WCA Hospital’s new Emergency Department.

This year, chicken wing soup was usurped from its throne by the fire roasted red pepper made by La Scala. Scallion Bistro followed in second place with its red potato and asparagus and The Gametime Sports Bar and Grill came in third with their chicken and shrimp soup.