Soup samples, student art raise Bruemmer Park Zoo funds at Zoupart
KEWAUNEE – It's the little fundraiser that's growing every year, all to help a local zoo grow and improve.
Zoupart, a February soup-tasting event and student art show sponsored by the Zoological Society of Kewaunee County, sends all proceeds to the society's Bruemmer Park Zoo in Kewaunee. The event takes place for a sixth straight year this Sunday at the Kewuanee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg.
To be admitted to the fundraiser, guests buy a small, decorated and glazed clay bowls. The bowls, more than 600 of which are available this year, were created by public and parochial students in kindergarten through 12th grade, across the county.
Guests use the bowls to sample soups cooked up by 14 area restaurants, stores and bar and grills, along with nine soups entered by local home cooks. They then vote for their favorite soups in each category. The winner among the restaurants earns a set of insulated serving bowls donated by Vollrath Co. in Sheboygan and the top home cook wins an air fryer.
Along with the student-created soup bowls, Zoupart also features an art show from local schools. Raffles will be held with a variety of prizes.
Last year's Zoupart was its biggest, with about 500 people attending, contributing to the $7,000 raised, said Pam Zander, zoological society president and one of the event's founders and organizers. This continues a trend seen since the event's inception.
"Every year since we've started, we've increased (the funds raised) by about $1,000 a year," Zander said in an interview at Clay on Steele in Algoma, which helps some schools with the making of the bowls. "Last year was our biggest year selling the bowls. Making $7,000 in three hours, I think we did pretty good."
Zander said she got the idea for Zoupart when she and her niece Heather Dachelet attended a similar midwinter soup tasting and fundraiser in New London.
"I thought it would be a great event to raise money for the zoo," she said.
Zander said when she organized the first Zoupart, it was important to make it a county-wide event.
"I wanted to incorporate all of Kewaunee County into this," Zander said. "I asked all the bars, the restaurants, all the schools, public and parochial, to participate."
As for the handmade bowls, Zoupart provides the clay to the schools and Zander works with their art teachers or principals to coordinate efforts. Some schools have the students make them from start to finish, while others concentrate on decorating and glazing bowls made by Clay on Steele members and other volunteer artists.
"(The students) really have fun doing it," Zander said. "The biggest thing is, they'd like their parents to get their bowl. With 500 or 600 people, that's not always possible, but it is for the zoo, so they like that part, too."
Zoupart proceeds are earmarked for specific projects at the zoo. Last year's funds went toward new animal pens and rebuilding fencing; this year's money is for a new pheasant exhibit. It's one of two major annual zoo benefits, the other being Zoobilee, held each fall.
The pheasant exhibit is one of a number of improvements that have taken place or are planned at the zoo, which include new trails, picnic areas and other amenities and a goat and deer house. Zander said with the Winter Park winter recreation area and C.D. "Buzz" Besadny fishery both across the road, the zoo helps make the area an attraction for residents and visitors.
"I think it's a great draw for our county to have this," she said. "Bruemmer Park is an amazing park; the animals are just an added draw. Then you've got Winter Park, got the fishery all right there.
"It takes a lot of coordination to put (Zoupart) together, but it's a lot of fun. I think it's all worth it."
The Zoological Society of Kewaunee County holds its sixth annual Zoupart soup tasting and student art show from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds, 625 Third St., Luxemburg. Admission is $10 which includes purchase of a clay bowl created by local students to use to sample the soups by local restaurants and home cooks. All proceeds benefit Bruemmer Park Zoo; this year's funds go toward a planned pheasant exhibit.
Bruemmer Park Zoo is at E4280 Kewaunee County F, Kewuanee. It is open from 7 a.m. to sunset daily. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated; no pets are allowed. For more information, call 920-388-0444 or visit bruemmerparkzoo.com.
Restaurants taking part and the soups they're making:
- Gib’s on the Lake: Cream of artichoke with spinach
- The Fill-In Station: Cream cheese chicken
- Rose’s Family Restaurant: Chicken poblano pepper
- Kewaunee Piggly Wiggly: Chili
- Kewaunee Custard: Garden vegetable
- Stodola’s IGA: Chicken dumpling
- Davister’s Bar & Restaurant: Chicken dumpling
- Harbor Grounds: Tuscan cauliflower with andouille sausage
- PharmHouse Café & Market: Butternut squash
- Tippy Canoe’s Bar & Grill: Chili
- Janda’s Bar & Grill: Loaded potato
- The Grove: Chicken dumpling
- Classix: Andouille sausage, potato and corn chowder
- The Cannery: Ponderosa Farmstead cheese with brat and beer
Home cooks and their soups:
- Terry Rueckl: Creamy garlic gnocchi chicken mushroom
- Frank and Lindy Dorn: Brat and potato
- Deb Bauer: Chicken dumpling
- Barb Pazdera: Mulligatawny
- Tracy Bauer: Vegan lentil
- Sue Benson: Vegan beans and greens
- Courtney Kudick: Chicken booyah
- Meri Uecker: Cajun crawfish chowder
- Grandma Gayla: Cheesy cream of vegetable
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Soup samples, student art raise Bruemmer Park Zoo funds at Zoupart