A Souper day

I have never been a pro at wrapping presents. When it comes to birthdays and holidays, I usually opt for the pre-packaged sack-and-tissue-paper combo rather than giftwrap and tape. So when I had the opportunity to participate in a Media Wrap-Off event this past Sunday, I was a little skeptical about my chances. The event served as a precursor to the upcoming Souper Sunday, which benefits the Total Source for Hearing Loss and Access (TSHA), a local United Way organization that provides comprehensive services for those with hearing loss.

When I arrived at the Rose Bowl — the former Route 66 bowling alley-turned-event center — I was met with a flowerpot, a T-shirt, some books, a pen and other items that I would have to artfully arrange as if in preparation for a silent auction. Other local media personalities were part of the competition as well, including KVOO’s Sunny Leigh, KJRH’s Julie Chin, Fox 23’s Sharon Phillips, KBEZ’s Steve Smith and KRMG/STAR 103's Mike McCarthy. When the time came for the competition, we had five minutes to pack our items into the flowerpots so that they could be sell-able in a silent auction. I went for speed, so my pot was presentable, although not pretty enough for a silent auction. Phillips, who won the competition, created a pot that looked event-ready, down to the strategically arranged items, which each had the TSHA logo facing front, and curled ribbon on the top. The winner for the most creative presentation was Chin, who wrapped the outside of her pot with the T-shirt and stuffed it with Easter basket grass, certainly an attention-grabber.

Of course, the point of the endeavor was to bring attention to this important organization and its upcoming event. Souper Sunday will take place from 3:30-6 p.m., March 8, at the Rose Bowl, 7419 E. 11th St., with the theme “Then & Now — 40 Years.” The casual, family-oriented event will include an all-you-can-eat buffet of soups from more than 20 Tulsa restaurants, as well as breads, desserts and beverages . Many TSHA clients will also be in attendance, so, as Community Relations Director Diana Higgins says, it will be a fun opportunity to see sign language throughout the room.

Advance tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12, and tickets at the door are $23 for adults and $13 for children. Children ages 5 and under will be admitted for free. Also, make sure to check out the silent auction, which will feature a variety of goodies, including restaurant, hotel and area vacation destination gift certificates — and no sign of my lowly flowerpot, fortunately. For more information about Souper Sunday, call 832-8742 or visit www.tsha.cc.

- Joy Jenkins, CityBeat editor

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