A student-created bilingual education project won first prize in the recent Gorge Soup for Kids dinner at Springhouse Cellar.
Damian Charco has created a new business, New Language, a learning center to help English speakers learn Spanish and Spanish speakers learn English. Charco won $1,472.50 at the Feb. 24 event. Chef Ben Stenn of Celilo Restaurant served the soup.
In second place, winning $1,030.75, was Eileen Wendell, Great Gorge Drama Club, for a drama club for White Salmon schools and for funding to produce the musical, “Honk.”
A tie for third place, and $220.88 each, went to Daeuthen Dahlquist, Climate Council for a website and forum to engage youth in the climate change discussions, and Trey Piedmonte, Habitat Clothing, for a company that will sell T-shirts to raise money and support the Africa Wildlife Foundation, a charity working to prevent elephant poaching in Africa.
Also presenting were Sage Pratt, Ink Bottle, seeking funding to make and sell Chinese character art, and Skye Pratt, All Dolled Up, launching a business to make hand-sewn doll clothing.
Gorge Soup is a community gathering in which each person attending buys a ticket. The ticket covers a few expenses ($6 for your soup and bread), and the rest of the ticket money goes into a collective jar.
Throughout the soup dinner, a selection of student entrepreneurs from the Gorge present their business ideas to the crowd. At the end of the night, everyone attending the dinner votes for their favorite presenter/business idea. Not only do the student presenters get the opportunity to receive funding, they also have a great chance to generate community support and feedback for their business idea.
The goal of Gorge Soup is to support new ideas, businesses, projects or initiatives that are entrepreneurial or community-oriented by nature, said founder Julie O’Shea. This is the third Kids’ event, and there have been five for adults since its founding six years ago.