The Capuchin Soup Kitchen exceeded the fundraising goal of its annual Support Our Capuchin Kitchen (SOCK) Dinner, thanks to the help from its friends in the business and philanthropic community, including the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan President and CEO Dan Loepp and his wife, Amy, who are serving as co-chairs for the event.
The 43rd annual SOCK Dinner drew 1,000 guests to Cobo Center for the Blue Cross-sponsored October 16 event.
“You’ve Got a Friend” was the chosen theme, symbolic of the everyday acts of kindness the Soup Kitchen performs with support from those who donate their time, talents, and money. It is the organization’s signature fundraising event, one of the largest of its kind in the Detroit metropolitan area.
Operating almost exclusively on charitable contributions since it opened its doors in 1929, the Soup Kitchen serves more than 2,000 hot meals every day to Detroit residents. Its far-reaching ministry also provides a helping hand for families, children, and men and women in need through social services, counseling, educational opportunities, an urban farming initiative, and the On The Rise Bakery program that helps people build new lives after dealing with incarceration or addiction.
“The revenues we generate at the SOCK dinner are critical to the ongoing operation of all our programs,” said Brother Jerry Smith, executive director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. “We are grateful to all who give so generously from their families to those we serve, to so many business and community leaders who lift up our city by their support and a special thanks goes to Dan and Amy Loepp and our friends at Blue Cross.”
Blue Cross is making a $25,000 corporate donation to the Soup Kitchen while also garnering an additional $110,000 from employees, vendor partners, and peer business leaders. Dan and Amy Loepp were so inspired by those generous donations that they are making a personal contribution of $100,000 to the Soup Kitchen.
“This is something that Amy and I are honored to do as Detroiters, and we are energized by the way our friends and colleagues have embraced the opportunity to help,” said Dan Loepp. “The Soup Kitchen has been a pillar of this community for 85 years, serving hundreds of thousands of our friends, family, and fellow Detroiters in their time of need. Because of that, the Capuchin ministry is something that many of us at the Blues have grown up understanding and admiring. This is a special cause that resonates deeply with Amy and me, and with Blues employees at all levels.”
More than 100 Blue Cross employees signed up to volunteer for the event, and hundreds more have logged volunteer service at a Soup Kitchen location in recent months or are signed up to do so. Additionally, a workgroup of Blue Cross leaders are engaging the Capuchins and Smith on ways to refine the Soup Kitchen’s fundraising processes for future SOCK dinners and other events.