Bubbling over with joy, Major David Feeser and his wife, Major Louise Feeser, can be seen greeting guests as they walk in to attend the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Stone Soup Luncheon at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Texarkana, Arkansas on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Their smiles warm guests from the bitter wind of April and precede the vast array of comfort food that awaits everyone.
What began in 1980, has now developed into an event that the community anticipates each year. For nearly twenty years, volunteers have coordinated plans to perpetuate this beloved fundraiser that so many benefit from.
All proceeds raised from the annual luncheon go to the auxiliary, in turn, those funds and resources are distributed to the Boys and Girls Club, the Center for Hope, and other efforts to support the youth in the community.
“We send children to camps each year, last year purchased a bus to transport children in the programs, improved the Boys and Girls club playground, renovated parts of the Center for Hope, and with the annual luncheon, raise over $12,000 on average each year,” Women’s Auxiliary President, Emily Bonner explained.
With over 150 members in the Women’s Auxiliary, volunteers form committees over the summer and gradually work towards hosting over the year. These disciplined ladies mandate that each member must bring two cakes, one to sale and one to serve. A personal, intimate touch to what has grown to be quite a highly attended event. These women serve over 900 meals each year to the community.
The Women’s Auxiliary volunteers work with purpose, using every ounce of effort they have to support the community and those in need. Bonner explained that during her career as a counselor at Texas High School, she came to the realization of how many of Texarkana’s youth were in hunger, not able to focus in school and retain the information they need.
“There are so many families and youth in need in this community that go hungry. It is such a blessing for us to be able to go out in the community and help.”
“At the food pantry, you get to see how many desperate people there are here. It is a joy to see how many we are fortunate enough to help out in the community.”