Soup kitchen and Humboldt Broncos join forces to raise money

HUMBOLDT — A joint effort between the Humboldt Broncos and the Humboldt Soup Kitchen raised more than $2,000 for the non-profit.

The soup kitchen serves between 65 and 90 people every Tuesday at the Gathering Place. On Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and New Year’s, it can serve over 100 people.

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Scott Barney, the Broncos’ head coach, said his entire team was at the Feb. 20 event.

Hometown product and Broncos forward Reagan Poncelet said he enjoys giving back and trying to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

“If there is anyway that I can put a smile on someone’s face or just make someone’s day better, I think that’s crucial,” he said. “The people of Humboldt have supported me all the way through my life and I can’t thank them enough for everything, off the ice and on the ice.”

Dave Atamanchuk, the event’s MC, said back in 2010, one man had a dream.

“That man was James Folster,” he said. “His dream was to provide one meal a week, one free meal a week, to people, some that didn’t have any meals during the week.

It began with seven people. Then it quickly expanded to 20.

“You don’t do that because you’re you want a pat on the back,” Atamanchuk said. “You do because that’s the kind of person you are.”

The soup kitchen moved to the Gathering Place, which provides the space free of charge. The organization, in fact, relies on donations for all of its operations.

Folster said the effort was small at the beginning, but grew to the point where he needed an assistant, and then the assistant needed an assistant.

“It just grew and grew and grew to where it is today,” he said. “I’d like to thank God and all these wonderful people. I’ve made so many friends. It’s just been a wonderful journey.”

Folster announced last April that he wanted to retire from his role as soup kitchen co-ordinator. He told Jamie Erb that he wanted him to take his place.

Erb said he didn’t think Folster would step back, let alone think that he might take the position on.

Erb said he prayed about it before taking it on.

“I have found this is the best position I’ve ever had in my entire life,” he said.

“There is something we get in return when we help people. There is something that is unexplainable that happens inside of you when you can give something to somebody that needs it – especially somebody that needs it.”

– with files from Robin Wark

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