NEW POINT – Every fall for the last seven years, the New Point Kiwanis Club has held the Whistleberry Stew Festival to raise money for Riley Children’s Hospital.
This year is no exception. The festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the New Point Community Center. For a free will donation, each participant can enjoy all the bean soup, cornbread, drinks and dessert they care to eat.
When Pastor Mark Vice attended a “Sons of the Pioneers Chuckwagon Dinner Show” several years ago and heard a cowboy talking about “whistleberry soup.” It took him a few minutes to figure out what the actor meant. It turns out; he was talking about bean soup and making a clever joke. Vice found the nickname humorous and when the Kiwanis Club was looking to name their fundraiser, he suggested calling it the Whistleberry Stew Festival.
“Riley is very near and dear to the heart of each Kiwanian,” Vice said. “It’s one of the best children’s hospitals in the world and we are fortunate to have a hospital like that right here in Indiana.”
Vice said that Kiwanis clubs all over the state have raised a lot of money for Riley over the years and are always looking for new and creative ways to continue the practice. The Whistleberry Stew Festival was created as a way to raise money and share information about Riley Children’s Hospital while providing a fun evening for guests.
Part of the money raised by the Indiana Kiwanis clubs goes toward running a “Comfort Cart” at Riley for the family members of patients there who may not have remembered to grab basic items like combs, shampoo or toothbrushes for themselves when traveling to the hospital. The items on the cart are given free of charge to patients’ family members.