January 12, 2016, Mechanicsburg, PA - Chase away the winter blues with soup and music! The Soup Cook Off to benefit the Keystone Musical Arts Center (KMAC) will be held from 12 - 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 at the Park Inn, 5401 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg, PA. Tickets are $10 in advance, available at TheSoupCookOff.com, and $15 at the door (ages 5 and under are free). Proceeds will be used by KMAC for construction of a new facility to house music lessons, classes and ensembles plus music therapy and a homeschool program.
Professional chefs and amateur cooks may enter one or two soups for a small registration fee up until 1/22/16. Participants are required to have three gallons of each soup available for sampling, and the Soup Cook Off requests that a list of ingredients be available for each entry. Restaurants may also bring promotional material such as menus and coupons to hand out.
Attendees will get to sample over 40 soups, stews and chilies, then vote for their favorites. Chefs whose culinary creations receive the most votes will receive trophies and prize money. The top three soups in both the professional and amateur categories will be recognized.
Teachers, students and friends of KMAC will provide acoustic music throughout the afternoon. Confirmed performers include Shea Quinn, Jeff Feltenberger (The Badlees) and Phil Freeman (Small Town Titans). Water, tea and sodas are included at no extra charge, and a cash bar will be open for wine and other beverages. Brownies will be available for $1 each. An opportunity drawing will be held for gift baskets filled with items donated by local merchants and organizations.
Supporting materials - photos, graphics, videos - are available upon request.
The Soup Cook Off is now in its sixth year and has become the largest event of its kind in central Pennsylvania. Prior to 2015, the cook-offs were held the first weekend in March at the Park Inn, and benefited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. As the popularity grew, the Soup Cook Off creator, Gwen Forlizzi, found it necessary to move the event to a new location and change the date. She explains, "We had a big snow and ice storm on the day of our cook-off last March. We still had over 450 people attend, which was fantastic! However, it was clear that we were going to need a larger venue and a different time of year. So we moved The Annual Cystic Fibrosis Soup Cook Off to The Best Western Premier Hotel in Harrisburg and it proved to be a huge success! In the future, we will continue to hold our Soup Cook Off to benefit The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at this new and larger location. With the success of this event, we welcomed other charities to contact us and request a soup cook-off to benefit them. We are pleased to announce our inaugural KMAC Soup Cook Off to benefit the Keystone Musical Arts Center located in Mechanicsburg."
The Keystone Musical Arts Center is raising funds to build out a space in the Hampden Center shopping plaza. When complete, all teaching and performance rooms will be sound-proofed and geared toward providing a first-class learning environment. It will also allow the school to expand its offerings considerably and become the community partner it strives to be. KMAC's instructors are currently teaching private music lessons in temporary locations in and around Mechanicsburg. The new facility will make possible the addition of group classes and ensembles, plus music therapy and homeschool programs that are greatly needed in the area. Although KMAC is new, the teachers have many years of experience, both in and out of the classroom. The school has already received recognition in the form of a project stream grant from the Pennsylvania Counsel on the Arts. Early donations and commitments have come in from businesses such as the Freedom Auto Group, Bortek Industries and Custom Maintenance. The Foundation for Enhancing Communities helped KMAC get off the ground last year by acting as their fiscal sponsor. The school received their own tax exempt status in November, allowing them to begin 2016 as an official 501(c)(3) organization.
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