September 26, 2023 SOUP Dinner

Congratulations to Sierra Club who won the people's vote for our September 2023 SOUP dinner for their Inspiring Connections Outdoors project. They walked away with $901.00 which will support 3+ students to attend the Tremont Environmental Institute in the Great Smoky Mountains!

Stay tuned for details with regards to our next SOUP dinners in 2024.

Read more about this project and learn about other proposals presented

About Knoxville SOUP

SOUP is a community dinner that is part pot luck and part planned. It is an opportunity for the community to gather, share and connect. It is an opportunity to support projects that, in some manner, benefit the community as a whole. It’s where Democracy meets Charity.

SOUP has been described as:

  • a collaborative situation
  • a public dinner
  • a platform for connection
  • a relational hub bringing together communities
  • a forum for discussion
  • an opportunity to support creative people in pursuit of the betterment of their community

Get inspired! Watch a 2 minute video of a SOUP dinner in progress.

Like the Knoxville SOUP Facebook Page to keep up with the latest information about SOUP dinners.

How it works: We will open the doors at 5:30 pm, collecting a $5.00 donation from attendees. At 6:00, 4 preselected individuals or groups will present an idea or project they would like to carry out. Each presenter (or group) has 4 minutes to inform, impassion and inspire the audience. They then have 4 minutes to answer questions from the audience. Dinner is then served while attendees digest, discuss and deliberate over the projects presented. They then cast a ballot for the project they would like most to fund.

When the evening nears a close, the ballots are counted and the group that has the most votes takes home the money from the door to help fund their project. Democracy meets Charity…

Proposals can be for anything that will benefit the community or society in general. Past winning projects have improved greenways and nature trails, provided exercise equipment for seniors, funded back to school drives, supported other charitable endeavors and even launched a small business with a social focus. There are no hard and fast rules to what a proposal should be, only that someone envisions it, asks for it and the diners vote for it.

Winners are asked to return to a subsequent dinner and share with us the success of their project. Dinners will also feature an artist each month.

After presentations, diners will have about an hour to eat, share and connect with others while voting for the project they like best. By about 7:45, the votes will be tallied and the winning project will be awarded all donations raised at the door. NOTE: a suggested donation of $5 will be collected at the door. All money raised at the door goes to the winning proposal.

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THANKS to our September 26th Dinner Supporters!

A huge THANKS to all our sponsors and those who contributed to help make our SOUP dinners a success. We especially appreciate Church Street United Methodist Church for providing the beautiful dinner location, our food donors for the wonderful food, and volunteers for their service!

Thanks to Margaret McCall and Raychel Shelton for providing sign language interpreting services for tonight's dinner!

And as always, our emcee extraordinaire, Alan Wiliams.

Please help us thank our supporters with YOUR support of their business!

Raffle Items

  • 71 South Restaurant
  • Ale' Rae's Gastropub
  • Aslan Foundation
  • Averra Media
  • Barry Neal, Candidate for County Commission
  • Bentley Marlow, Candidate for City Council
  • Bobbye Edwards
  • Carson Dailey, County Commissioner
  • Chops South
  • CommonPlace
  • Debbie Helsley
  • Fanatic Brewing
  • Gayla Guignard
  • Hi-Wire Brewing
  • Highland Design
  • It's a R-R-Ruff Life
  • John Capps & Nicole Poquette
  • Kickstand
  • Knoxville History Project
  • Larsen Jay, County Commissioner
  • Love that BBQ
  • Loveday's Garden Center
  • Lynne Fugate, Candidate for City Council
  • Matt Park
  • Michael Gill: Bluegill Productions
  • Nancy Campbell
  • Redbud Kitchen
  • River Dog Bakery
  • Round-up Restaurant
  • Round-up Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor
  • South Coast Pizza
  • South High Senior Living
  • Southern Breeze Heating and Cooling
  • Stanley's
  • Sugar Queen Creamery
  • Tea & Treasures
  • Terri LeSueur
  • Tim Hill, Candidate for City Council

Special 'SOUP pot' Donors:

  • Tommy Smith, 1st District City Council Representative
  • Tyler Cavin, Candidate for Municipal Judge

Food Contributions

  • Danny Gray
  • Gayla Guignard
  • Jennifer Swearingen
  • Lisa Horn
  • Lizzie Gaver
  • Mike and Jan Brown
  • Redbud Kitchen
  • Round-up Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor
  • Ruth White
  • South Coast Pizza
  • South High Senior Living Center
  • Terri LeSueur


  • Adam Fritts
  • Andy Zimmerman
  • Barry Neal
  • Betsy Pickle
  • Cindy Ballard
  • Danny Gray
  • David Drews
  • Deane Horn
  • Debbie Helsley
  • Debbie Mallard
  • Eric Horn
  • Eric Johnson
  • Erin Kelbly
  • Gayla Guignard
  • Janice Tocher
  • Jennifer Swearingen
  • Kara Strouse
  • Laura Stone
  • Lisa Fall
  • Lisa Horn
  • Lizzie Gaver
  • Matt Park
  • Michael Fuller
  • Michael Jordan
  • Nancy Campbell
  • Patrick Michael
  • Phil Ballard
  • Ruth White
  • Stewart Smith
  • Tammy Doyle
  • Terri LeSueur
  • Trudy Monaco
  • Valarie Johnson
  • Walt Montgomery