There were 16 soup entries for Strasburg Close Up’s Battle of the Soup event on Sun., Jan. 13. Bringing their kettles of soup in front row, left to right, are, Terri Lang, Madelyn Kramer and Emily Luebke team, Suzanne Ternes and Mary Schwab. In the middle row are Mary Larson, Tracie Ritz, Kim Gabriel and Cassie Haak. In the back row are Lisa Hulm, Drew Ellingson, Lonna Tougas, Ella Eckroth and Cheryl Baumgartner team and Stephi Seaman. Missing from the photo is Kevin Gassmann. Over 100 people attended the event. Sponsors included the North Dakota Army National Guard, U.S. Army, Strasburg State Bank and Coca-Cola. On Sunday, January 13, the Strasburg Close Up students sponsored a “Battle of the Soup” event at the Strasburg Public School.
Twenty-two juniors and seniors from Strasburg will be traveling to Washington, D.C., in March, to attend the Close Up five-day trip.
Close Up is a non-profit organization that exists to educate and inspire young people to participate in democracy. They use Washington, D.C., as a living classroom, giving students access to the people, processes and places that make the nation’s capital so unique.
Helping dish out soup to Jocelyn Luebke at the event are Senior Class Close Up members Emily Luebke and Kyle Nieuwsma, with Kyle’s mom, Sandy, looking on. While in Washington, D.C., students meet with their peers from around the country with whom they will discuss and debate issues throughout the week.
Close Up Advisor Brian Grove said they do mock debates and get a close up of the federal government at work.
“They meet our congressional leaders representing North Dakota, and spend a day on Capitol Hill,” Grove said.
They visit the U.S. Supreme Court and Library of Congress as well as several monuments and memorials.
Enjoying their soup and company are Gary and Bernadine Dykema, Gerard Schwab and Evey Buechler. This will be the second time Grove has taken Close Up students to Washington.
Students have been conducting several fundraisers to help defray the cost of the trip. The trip cost is approximately $1,800 per student, and each student is responsible for paying $600.
Fundraising activities this year included serving concessions at sporting events, serving dinners at special events such as weddings and anniversaries, community service such as raking yards or working on the Veterans Wall in Strasburg, making pizzas at Valley City Pizza Corner and placing fundraiser orders with Schwan’s Foods.
They need $50,000 and have raised nearly $45,000 for their upcoming trip. Grove said they also rely on donations.
“Thank you to all those who helped with the event and came out to support the Close Up group, along with all the other fundraisers we have done,” Grove said. “We really appreciate it.”
The Luebke family provided entertainment for the evening. Donating their time and talent to Close Up’s event are Amy, Jocelyn and Steve Luebke. Those wishing to donate to the Close Up, may contact Brian Grove at Strasburg Public School at 701-336-2667, or visit the Close Up website at www.closeup.org.
Close Up Co-Advisor Nicole Grove said soup is one of her favorite foods, so Kevin Gassmann served her an extralarge bowl. He cooked a delicious kettle of his home-made Man Soup! Tracie Ritz’s daughter, Cici, thought that was the biggest bowl of soup she had ever seen.
Junior class Close Up students Teddie Lawler, Luke Huber and Kayla Haak welcome participants to the event at the registration table.
The Strasburg Close Up group had fun at the Battle of the Soup event. The group has been working hard the past year with several fundraisers. In front are Mason Kramer and Kyle Nieuwsma, in middle are Emily Luebke and Jon Stabler and in back are Drew Ellingson and Madelyn Kramer.
A fundraiser was also held with Schwan’s Foods orders. Schwan’s Salesman Eric Otto had a heavy bag to deliver to Close Up Advisor Brian Grove, and Schwan’s Salesman Don McMahon passed his delivery on to Brenden and Lynette Keller.
First place winner was the team of Ella Eckroth and daughter, Cheryl Baumgartner, for their knoephle soup entry. Presenting the $200 cash prize to them are Close Up Seniors Jennifer Wikenheiser and Kellie Tougas. Lonna Tougas placed second with her chicken wild rice soup, and Mary Schwab placed third with her chili.