Organizer Amy Bronee (right) ladles up soup with volunteers Mercedes Calvert (left), Rueben Bronee and Aaren Madden. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Soup fundraiser for Esquimalt fire victims good for the heart and soul

‘They came because they chose to make this that kind of community’

The community came out to eat soup and raise funds in support of victims of an Esquimalt apartment fire. Soup with Neighbours was cooked up as a fire recovery fundraiser to help tenants get back on their feet after the April 7 fire devastated their building on Craigflower Road, leaving some tenants out of their homes for months.

Gathering at the Vic West Community Centre on Sunday, organizer and Vic West resident Amy Bronee had three soup options bubbling away as more than 200 supporters arrived. The $5 pricetag for a bowl of soup (along with extra donations) raised $1,823.50, all of which went to the Esquimalt Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation which will in turn ensure it goes to those affected by the apartment fire.

“It was heartwarming to see so many people enjoying a visit with their neighbours over a bowl of soup. But they didn’t really come for the soup. They came to be together in a show of support for their neighbours and to help them get back on their feet,” said Bronee. “They came because they chose to make this that kind of community.”

RELATED: Fund launched for victims of fatal Esquimalt apartment fire

Dozens of residents from the community and beyond – including firefighters from Victoria and Esquimalt – showed up to volunteer as well, delivering soup to tables, pouring water and distributing buns, and cleaning up at the end.

A large banner taped to the wall collected well-wishes and encouraging messages from those who attended, to be shared with the residents of the apartment later.

Musicians, seasoned and emerging, donated their time to bring joy to those sitting at the packed tables throughout the centre. Jade Tuapin and Eden Forbes, both 13, performed on their ukuleles – with one song really hitting home with a message of staying strong in the face of challenges. Steve Palen and Guitar Bill of the Herbicidal Maniacs entertained the crowd with a blend of country, folk, blues, rock and a touch of jazz.

RELATED: One presumed dead after apartment fire in Esquimalt traps occupants

With the Mustard Seed Street Church Food Rescue Project contributing most of the soup ingredients, Save-On-Foods donating the buns and a whole lot of love from the volunteers, it truly was a community effort.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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Dozens of residents from the community and beyond – including firefighters from Victoria and Esquimalt – showed up to volunteer. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Dozens of residents from the community and beyond showed up to volunteer and help out at the event. (Keri Coles/News staff)

A large banner taped to the wall collected well-wishes and encouraging messages from those that attended, to be shared with the residents of the apartment later. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Eden Forbes (left) and Jade Tuapin, both 13, performed on their ukuleles – with one song really hitting home with a message of staying strong in the face of challenges. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Gathering at the Vic West Community Centre on Sunday, more than 200 supporters came out to help their neighbours affected by the Esquimalt apartment fire. (Keri Coles/News staff)

A large banner taped to the wall collected well-wishes and encouraging messages from those that attended, to be shared with the residents of the apartment later. (Keri Coles/News staff)

A large banner taped to the wall collected well-wishes and encouraging messages from those that attended, to be shared with the residents of the apartment later. (Keri Coles/News staff)

A large banner taped to the wall collected well-wishes and encouraging messages from those that attended, to be shared with the residents of the apartment later. (Keri Coles/News staff)

A large banner taped to the wall collected well-wishes and encouraging messages from those that attended, to be shared with the residents of the apartment later. (Keri Coles/News staff)

A large banner taped to the wall collected well-wishes and encouraging messages from those that attended, to be shared with the residents of the apartment later. (Keri Coles/News staff)

A large banner taped to the wall collected well-wishes and encouraging messages from those that attended, to be shared with the residents of the apartment later. (Keri Coles/News staff)

A large banner taped to the wall collected well-wishes and encouraging messages from those that attended, to be shared with the residents of the apartment later. (Keri Coles/News staff)

A large banner taped to the wall collected well-wishes and encouraging messages from those that attended, to be shared with the residents of the apartment later. (Keri Coles/News staff)

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