The second Desert Manna fund-raiser Souper Bowl Dinner will be on Friday, Feb. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express at 2700 Lenwood Road. The first one was just a year ago on the Friday before the Super Bowl Game. The current agenda will be similar.

The menu will consist of a variety of six different soups each one provided by a local restaurant, namely Coco's, Idle Spurs Steak House, Dinapoli's Fire House, Los Domingo's, Rosita's and Quigley's. There will also be fresh bakery bread furnished by Quigley's. There will again be a salad bar, ice cream and cookies. There will also be door prizes. Tickets are $10 per person plus a can of soup at the door. Tickets are available at Desert Manna, 209 North First Avenue and from Desert Manna Board members. Call Desert Manna at 256-7977 to make a reservation or for more information.

Desert Manna Board consists of President Yoshimi Sufall, Secretary Carl Sufall, Treasurer Carol Ziegler and members Larry Kolar, Julia Layden and Kathryn Shelton. Jonathan Gilman is the new Desert Manna Director.

All proceeds from the dinner go to Desert Manna Ministries, Inc. for the shelter and their other services to aid homeless and local poverty level individuals and families.
Special needs just now are canned foods and especially tuna and other meat products.
The clothing closet needs clothes for men, children and babies. Hygiene items are in short supply too.

Desert Manna has been at its present location since May 1, 1989. However, the name and Articles of Incorporation came before that. St. Joseph's Catholic Church here should have credit for its beginning. At a time in 1979 they found more and more transients knocking at their doors. Travelers hadn't expected it to be so hot, or so cold, in the desert and had not reached their destinations. They were broke hungry and tired. About the same time more local people found they needed help also. Efforts of the church Parish Council discussed the matter and worked on some help solutions. On Aug. 15, 1979 they announced plans for a food drive and formed a committee to see what it could do to help those in need. The next week on Aug. 21, they voted to call their efforts "Desert Manna." They also voted to name one Sunday a month as "Desert Manna Sunday" and decided all their efforts would be by Desert Manna.

At some point in time, they left the church open so transients could seek shelter from the weather. When trouble with that occurred, they made available just one room on church property for shelter. By 1982 other churches were invited to volunteer in helping to dispense the services. A number of volunteers came from my church including me. The project developed into a community effort. The articles of incorporation for "Desert Manna Ministries, Inc." were dated and signed on Sept. 13, 1986. The long slow process of locating a shelter and putting all Desert Manna under one roof was finally completed and opened on May 1, 1989.

Please mark the Souper Bowl meal on your calendar for Friday. Attend if you can. Tell other about it also.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Helen Bendure is a correspondent for the Desert Dispatch She can be contacted at