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‘Gorge Soup’ looks for kids’ business ideas

Young entrepreneurs asked to apply to share their proposals, for possible cash reward

Young entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to tell their story, and maybe earn an investment, on May 22.

The meal series known as Gorge Soup will be at Springhouse Cellar Winery. Gorge Soup is in its third installment after successful events in November and February, with adult-run businesses presenting what they do.

Next month’s Gorge Soup will be slightly different, though:

The usual Gorge Soup adult audience will hear proposals from young people. It will be focused on supporting the businesses of students in the Gorge. Anyone can come to the dinner, but only students in kindergarten through 12th grade from the Gorge can apply to present.

“The best lesson that could come from this is that kids learn to believe in themselves and their ideas,” said Genevieve Scholl-Erdmann, Gorge Soup crew member.

“The best business ideas don’t stay ideas — they become plans, and the plans are shared with others, and sharing gathers the help that is needed to make the idea a reality.”

Ashley Sprouse Erdely, local educator, said, “Gorge Soup for kids is helping to build a bridge from the youth to the philanthropists within the Gorge community.

“A primary goal within education is to prepare our youth with the tools and experience needed in order to become a contributing member of society. Helping kids to have a sense of place and a connection to their community is essential for their success as adults.

“Gorge Soup will provide the students with an authentic reason to exercise their ideas of how to make a difference within their community, the real life experience of working through the steps of a project or business plan and the opportunity to present their innovative proposals to an authentic audience of philanthropists within their community.”

Julie O’Shea, one of the founders, said, “Gorge Soup is a rare opportunity for us to come together and collectively give someone with a cool idea just the right boost they need to get things started.

“The first two Gorge Soup events were so exciting for me,” she said. “To see these entrepreneurs sharing their ideas and receiving support — money, advice, buzz, networking — and then watching both winners using that support to go forward; it was amazing. We are so happy to have the chance to give this boost to our youngest entrepreneurs.”

“I think Gorge Soup is a tremendous way for community members to actively support local entrepreneurs. And, it is a great way to support some of our youngest entrepreneurs, while developing the idea of philanthropy in the next generation,” said Paul Lindberg, a Gorge Soup crew member.

Throughout the soup dinner, a selection of young entrepreneurs will present their business ideas to the crowd. At the end of the night, everyone at the dinner votes for their favorite presenter. The winner of the vote receives the remaining ticket money (after covering for soup and minimal event expenses). Winners at the last two dinners received more than $1,500 each.

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Applications are due and must be postmarked by May 1.

The event will start at 6 p.m. Dinner tickets are still available, at $35 each. Purchase tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/239525.

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