‘Souper Bowl’ Sunday

Local Church Teams Up With Salvation Army

Posted: February 2, 2013

DAYTON - One local church is joining in the nationwide Super Bowl tradition — but they’ll be looking beyond the television screen.


Dayton Church of the Brethren is participating in the “Souper Bowl of Caring,” a movement started in 1990 to raise money for hunger-fighting charities during one of the most popular sports weekends of the year.


Last year, more than 10,000 groups collected in excess of $9.8 million in money and food items for hunger-relief organizations. Since its inception, the initiative has raised more than $90 million.


While the Dayton church has been celebrating the Super Bowl for years with a tailgate party following church services on game day, the congregation became involved with the larger movement last year.


“We decided, since we’re blessed, we want to bless others,” said Karen Botkin, one of the event organizers.


Last year, the group collected 311 food items for the West Rockingham Food Bank, which operates out of Cooks Creek Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg.


“We’re hoping to beat that goal this year,” Botkin said, adding that some of the church youth plan to bring contributions.


Collecting food for the local pantry on Super Bowl Sunday is only one of the church’s events planned for this weekend.


On Saturday, the congregation will send workers to help with the three meals at the Harrisonburg Salvation Army.


Capt. Duane Burleigh of the local organization said, as far as he knows, the church group is the only one helping out this weekend, adding that up to 70 people could be at the city shelter for Saturday meals.


The Salvation Army has its own Super Bowl party every year, he added. About 80 to 90 locals who use Salvation Army services usually show up for the event.


“We get right into it,” he said. “My team won last year. They were all rooting against me, but I prevailed.”


The Dayton church will continue its own Super Bowl Sunday tradition with the tailgate party this year.


The church, located at 202 Main St., welcomes the community to its Sunday events, with the service starting at 10:30 a.m. and the tailgate following.


For more information, call 879-9771 or visit daytoncob.org.


Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or csipos@dnronline.com

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