Last Sunday Vegas Roots Community Garden hosted Vegas SOUP. The first Vegas SOUP launched in November 2011 and is set to be a bi-monthly event (with the holidays they skipped a month). The idea of SOUP is spreading around the country. It’s a grassroots micro-grant program the connects caring individuals in the local community to supporting people like you who work with under served populations. SOUP stands for support, organize, unite, people. The mantra is ‘Members Eat. Entrepreneurs pitch. Everybody votes. Somebody gets funding. It’s that simple.’
The event costs $10 to attend and the proceeds from the attendees become the grant awarded that night to the project voted by all the attendees. It’s great to see The Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas is now a sponsor of Vegas SOUP. Side note, The Cosmopolitan Hotel is very fun the young, artistic and adventurous soul which vegan-friendly options. Check them out on your next visit.
live music too
Ok, back to the soup! This month’s soup was made by local raw vegan, Chef Stacey Dougan. Her food is delicious! I have attended her raw vegan ‘cooking’ food demos at Whole Foods and know of her yummy foods. She works at the Wynn Hotel serving up vegan delight. For this event she made us vegan slip pea soup. It was a BIG hit!
Also, a new restaurant in town called Greens & Proteins came and offered taste testings of vegan tortilla soup. Despite what that sign says, it was mostly raw… but they added cooked chips in it so they should change the sign. I personally didn’t mind the chips, it was really good. Again, their vegan soup was a huge hit! I may or may not have had a few taste testings of their soup ; )
After the soup it was all about the presenters. The presentations started with a few thankful words of November’s Vegas SOUP recipients Child Focus. The children explained how their micro-grant from November’s Vegas SOUP impacted their life. Child Focus helps re-connect sisters and brothers in the foster care system. This young lady did such a wonderful job explaining how the program allowed her to see her brother and sisters. Talk about pulling on your heart strings!
Then it was off to the pitches! Hannan, founder of Going Organic was the event’s MC. This month Gods Way Cleaning, Toni’s House, COLAB Las Vegas, Brand New Horizon and LACE – Grants 4 Grands shared their stories for why they would benefit of the micro-grant. For a quick recap, Gods Way Cleaning is working torwards creating jobs and gifting people who are invisible to most of us. They help felons, kids in gangs, victims of human trafficking and domestic violence create a solid foundation. They offer cleaning services for homes and offices and will soon be launching a crime scene cleaning unit. They will work with the court system and wake up the young involved in violence by having them clean up violence. Also, the founders are in the process of starting a non-profit to create more project to elevate this population in our community. I can’t wait to watch this project grow! Toni’s House is a safe environment for men and women who need to re-build their life. This is the non-profit that I have been donating vegetables from the ‘giving back‘ campaign I started with a friend of mine. COLAB Las Vegas is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and promoting the local Las Vegas design community which I have been working with. Brand New Horizon gives the experience of prom to underserved youth and LACE – Grants 4 Grands gives support to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. It was very moving. I have spent time with the founders of Gods Way Cleaning, Toni’s House and COLAB Las Vegas and they all inspire me! It was really hard to pick just one program to vote for.
When the presentations concluded it was voting time. We used homemade chalk boards and chalk to be re-use the materials for future events. Vegas SOUP aimed to be as eco-friendly as possible too.
After the votes were in Toni’s House WON $400 and LACE – Grants 4 Grands won second place with a $200 mico-grant. It was a wonderful night to see these projects get an extra boost of needed love!
Over 100 people came out to show their support. It was a very cold night for March in Las Vegas yet the turn out was wonderful. The Vegas SOUP team did a GREAT job and I’m so proud of how this event is taking off. I saw friends from the Vegas Tech community there, health + wellness friends, vegan friends all out to show support. This is a great place for everyone to meet and elevate the community. The next event will be in May, check the Vegas Roots Community Garden facebook page for details. Even if you will be in Las Vegas on travel, join us!!