Hot soup, warm hearts at SHS Harvest Celebration

RVTC culinary students Taylor Baitz, Brandon Short, Emily McCann, and Gavin Glidden serve soup. Photo by Karen Engdahl

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – A tantalizing mix of hot homemade soup, original artwork, and live music made for an upbeat evening for students, families, and guests at Springfield High School’s second annual Harvest Arts Festival and Benefit Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 9.

The Springfield High School Arts Department and the Culinary Arts Program of the River Valley Technical Center combined efforts to create a hearty meal of soup and bread accompanied by musical performances, with student artwork on display. Presented on the same evening as parent-teacher conferences, the event served to highlight student accomplishments as well as giving families a night off from cooking dinner.

Jim Chlebak and SHS band. Photo by Karen Engdahl

Guests at the event had the opportunity to purchase a student-crafted ceramic bowl to use for their soup. “The bowls were all made by students in past art classes,” explained SHS fine arts teacher, Katherine Boduch. “We’re glad to have a good inventory for people to choose from,” she added, nodding to the tables full of colorful ceramics. Also on display was a wide variety of other student artwork, including paintings, drawings, and mixed media pieces.

Student-crafted bowls and artwork. Photo by Karen Engdahl
SHS art teacher, Katherine Boduch. Photo by Karen Engdahl

SHS students in visual arts and arts integration sessions donated the crafts and artwork they created. Most ingredients for the dinner were donated by area businesses and individuals. River Valley Technical Center Chef Dave Groenewold donated his time making those ingredients into a meal, as did the RVTC students serving at the festival.

“I think the chicken with vegetable soup is my favorite,” said RVTC culinary student Taylor Baitz as he swirled a ladle in the colorful broth. “We also made minestrone, mushroom barley, and patty pan squash soups.”

As hungry festivalgoers filled their bowls with soups and pasta salads, Jim Chlebak, music teacher, and his band and chorus members provided up-tempo music. The SHS cafeteria was transformed into a sidewalk cafe as people ate, then strolled and browsed the artwork while listening to music.

The proceeds from this event will be shared between the Backpack Food Pantry (an SHS program providing students in need with food for the weekend) and the Springfield Family Center.


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