Soup du Cure joins Holiday Hoedown at Divi Carina Bay


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ST. CROIX - With the rainy weather of the past few weeks and the seasonal trade winds rolling in, those longing to curl up with a warm bowl of soup can do so at Soup du Cure this weekend.

Dozens of the territory's talented chefs, foodies and others who love cooking are preparing to stir up their best pots of soup to raise funds for the non-profit Caribbean Education through its annual fundraiser being held this year as part of the Country Music Holiday Hoedown at Divi Carina Bay Resort.

Rashidi Clenance, vice president of Caribbean Education Initiative, said the event continues to grow, and this year it will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the resort, which seemed like perfect venue for the event that helps to bring fun and excitement to the lives of many young people.

The Holiday Hoedown starts at 9 tonight with performances at Divi Carina Casino and continues at 2 p.m. Sunday at Divi Carina Resort with performances from Love and Theft, Greg Bates, Joe Denim, Kristen Kelly and Shelly Skidmore.

Clenance said chefs are signed up, but more are needed in many categories, including corn soup, seafood chowder, gumbo, pumpkin soup, red pea soup, kallaloo, goat water, chicken soup, vegetable soups and other varieties. For the first time, to celebrate the Holiday Hoedown and Country Music, chili is also a category this year.

Soup du Cure is sponsored by Tim Duncan, in association with Sun Stroke Promotions, and is a fundraiser for the non-profit Caribbean Education Initiative, which is focused on curing social ills in the community by supporting intervention, delinquency prevention and character-enhancing programs, primarily for youth.

The initiative has invested more than $60,000 in the last three years to help local youth excel. This fall, the organization hosted a conference featuring influential women from the community who gave motivational talks to young women from middle school to university age.

The initiative has also created the opportunity for Tennis Play Days and provided funding for more than 500 high school students to veiw "The Butler."

"We believe in the work that CEI does and we are really excited in giving others in the community an opportunity to help raise funds to support so many of its programs while having a good time and enjoying a great day of food, fun and entertainment," said Caribbean Education Initiative President Nicole Hutchins.

She said the organization is aimed at establishing and enhancing educational opportunities while supporting progress in the community. She said for eight years now, they have been dedicated to improving educational and career opportunities for local youth.

The overall "Best of the Best" award winner for Soup du Cure will receive $1,000. Second- and third-place winners will receive $500 and $250, and other winners in more than 20 other categories also will be awarded.

There is no cover charge for the event and soups can be entered as late as Sunday.

Anyone interested in signing up can email the Caribbean Education Initiative at info@cei-usvi.org. For more information about the Caribbean Education Initiative, visit www.cei-usvi.org

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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