Hope & Olive’s Soup & Game Night

By Nikki Gardner

On the first Monday in December, I head out to Hope & Olive’s free Soup and Game Night. Now in its 14th year, Soup and Game Night raises money for underfunded charitable organizations in and around Franklin County.

Montague Common Hall, a nonprofit community venue, is the beneficiary tonight. It’s 5pm when regulars and newbies alike walk through the front door. Raffle tickets are filled out, cookies sold, and tables and barstools filled. The soup line seems to never stop. Conversations are lively and inviting. The scene is casual yet festive and I’m invited to join several game tables, including Parcheesi and Pinnacle. I move between the front and back of the house where volunteers including Hope & Olive staff, area high school students, and Montague Common Hall members restock soup, bowls, and spoons, and bus and wash dishes.

Local vendors donate a pot of soup or loaf of bread to the restaurant, including turkey noodle (Diemand Farm), spicy carrot curry (Five Eyed Fox), Thai tomato and rice (Hope & Olive), vegetable (Franklin Technical School), squash and carrot (Stone Soup Café), artisan breads and sweet rolls (Bread Euphoria), dill pickles (Real Pickles), among many others contributions.

At the end of the night, over $1,600 in proceeds from the bar, tip jar, bake sale, donation jar, and raffle go directly to Montague Common Hall. Soup and Game Night is a success on all accounts: good food, folks, and fun!

Soup and Game Night is held from 5-7:30 on the first Monday evening of every month (except in July and August).

Photos by Nikki Gardner