SOUPer Bowl fundraiser benefits New Bethlehem Community Center

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Wearing a long blonde wig and dressed in black, Vickie Ham­mond pointed at members of the audience as she sang about how they “must not know ’bout me” during “halftime” of the third annual New Beth­lehem Community Center SOUPer Bowl.

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Valencia Richard (from left), 7, goes through the dinner line with her mother, Jocelyn Richard; her sister, Victoria Richard ,12; and her father, Warren Richard. Soups were donated by various local restaurants.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Valencia Richard (from left), 7, goes through the dinner line with her mother, Jocelyn Richard; her sister, Victoria Richard ,12; and her father, Warren Richard. Soups were donated by various local restaurants.

Saturday’s fundraiser, which benefited the center’s programs, mimicked Sunday’s Super Bowl in the way it was structured.

For the first “quarter,” correct answers to Super Bowl-themed questions earned door prizes.

Silent auction items spread around the venue included floral arrangements, jewelry and candles.

During the second quarter, guests served themselves from a soup buffet featuring at least a dozen different kinds of soup donated by local restaurants. Hammond performed while guests dined.

She and her friend Sher­i­dan Glaze, New Bethlehem’s executive director, included Hammond’s act because Beyonce will perform the Super Bowl halftime show.

Hammond lives in Atlanta now but attended the center’s after-school program when she was about 8.

“That was a long, long time ago. Like I said, I’m 50. But it’s still in existence,” Hammond said. “And this is a great time.”

Arnica Carmichael said she has no interest in sports but enjoyed the opportunity to have a nice evening out.

“It’s a really nice setup,” said Carmichael, who attended with friend Barbara Gordon, who donated food.

The community center was begun in 1911 by a Meth­odist deaconess. In the beginning, it served as a kindergarten, Girl’s Club, Boy’s Club, Mother’s Club and Sunday school. It moved to Conk­lin Avenue in 1928. Programs include after-school programs, a summer camp, a community garden, senior programs and a food pantry.


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