Annual Fitch Camp Soup Luncheon next week

People looking for a bowl of homemade soup with a side of giving will be in luck next week, as the sisters of Xi Delta Mu host their annual Fitch Camp Soup Luncheon Wednesday.

The local sorority, along with members of the Kappa Beta and Beta Sigma Phi Masters Chapter, will be serving bowls of hot chicken noodle, cheesy potato and beef and barley soup, along with fresh veggies and dessert to visitors to the First United Methodist Church from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. that day. The lunch costs $5 per person, with carryout options also available.

Proceeds from the lunch will be donated to E. Root Fitch Camp, the popular summer camp program for Dowagiac students located off Cable Lake.

The fundraiser, which has been organized by the members of the Xi Delta Mu for last several years, is a popular event for many throughout the community, drawing around 80 or more people to the Dowagiac church, said Pat Franz, the chair of the event. On top of people visiting the location, the sisters usually take more than 100 orders from teachers and staff at the district school buildings as well as from local businesses, with their husbands delivering the lunches to these locations.

“It keeps us hopping,” Franz said. “We get there around 8:30 a.m. or so, and we start getting the orders ready then so we can get them to the schools as soon as possible.”

Last year, the Beta Sigma Phi sorority raised around $1,600 for the summer camp through the luncheon.

All 11 members of the Xi Delta Mu chapter contribute to the event, making the soups ahead of time at home. Several members also volunteer during the event itself.

Members of Kappa Beta also help, cooking the deserts for the lunches. Several members of the Masters Chapter, the originator of the fundraiser, also pitch in to help serve visitors, Franz said.

Lending a hand to Fitch Camp is a cause near and dear to members of the service organization, including Franz. Her son, Kenny, attended the program while in elementary school and later volunteered as a camp counselor while in high school and college, Franz said.

“I think it benefits the community of Dowagiac, the kids of the community,” Franz said. “That’s our goal. It’s just helping the kids.”

In addition to purchasing lunch, visitors to the luncheon can also contribute additional donations to the local summer camp, Franz said.

“I hope everyone comes out and enjoys the good soup and conversation,” she said.

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