Secret Location of “SOUPthree” Revealed!

Written by Nick O’Brien

10/16/17 UPDATE: Please note that this article was published when Nick O’Brien served in the role of Community Engagement Specialist for MCDEVCO, Inc.

SOUPthree Flyer

Supporters of MCDEVCO’s new micro-granting dinners (dubbed “Wausau SOUP”) have been kept in suspense for the past few weeks…

You see, the venue for the initiative’s third event — “SOUPthree” — has been kept under wraps.

But now the secret’s out!

On Thursday, April 27, Wausau SOUP will again help community-enhancing projects and/or niche businesses garner support and funding by providing a public platform for a one-of-a-kind social event to be held at:

{wait for it…}

5305 East Jelinek Avenue in Weston

SOUPthree building


This time, MCDEVCO’s community-engagement initiative will host its “location-hopping” micro-granting dinner in a vacant 17,000 sq. ft. office building, once home to the marketing services company Becker Communications. The building has been vacant since Becker closed its doors in 2016, but it will surely COME TO LIFE with community-project presentations, food, art, music, and more as it hosts the upcoming SOUPthree event.

When Wausau SOUP first started in October 2016, the launch event (see pics and details here) invited the public to the 115-year-old Wausau Club building, which will soon become the home of Wausau’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Wausau SOUP I - October 2016
Wausau SOUP I

In February, SOUP II took over the former West Side Battery building and hosted more than 200 attendees beneath the temporarily relocated downtown umbrellas, which hung from the rafters of the old equipment repair shop. Check out pics and details of the SOUP II event here.

Photo courtesy of Brian Gunning.
Wausau SOUP II. Photo courtesy of Brian Gunning.

SOUP II attendees were also let in on the early visioning for Urban Street Bistro to turn the vacant battery building into a 99-seat restaurant and bar, which has since been approved by the Wausau City Council.

Next Thursday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., SOUPthree will use the layout of the empty office building at the corner of Mesker Street and Jelinek Avenue in Weston to put on a massive pop-up art gallery, featuring more than 200 pieces of local art — from painted portraits and photography to live glass-blowing and video-projection art — all set against a musical backdrop provided by local musicians performing throughout the building.

A SOUPthree afterparty — featuring live music from the Allen Brothers Band — will be held immediately following the event at Arrow Sports Club & Grill, where attendees can redeem a free drink coupon on their SOUPthree ballot.

The Wausau SOUP Rundown

The purpose of SOUP’s events is to gain exposure, support, and funding for local projects or niche businesses being taken on by citizens who want to enhance the living experience in our community.

At SOUP dinners, representatives from four pre-selected community projects each give a 4-minute presentation (without the use of technology) amid a night of food, music, art, and socializing. A $5 cash donation at the door gets event attendees a voting ballot, as well as soup and bread donated by a local restaurant and bakery. After each presentation, SOUPthree attendees have the opportunity to ask the presenter(s) up to four follow-up questions. After all four presentations, attendees are encouraged to chat with one another and then vote for their favorite project. Attendee votes and donations are counted and the project that receives the most votes at the end of the evening is awarded ALL the donated money to help fund their project.

SOUPthree Presenters & Community Partners

The four local projects that will be in the running for crowdsourced funding at SOUPthree are:

  • Empower + Create — A movement for female entrepreneurs to support and uplift one another
  • hOur Community TimeBank — A network of people who help each other by sharing their abilities, talents, and skills (a reciprocity-based trading system in which hours are the currency)
  • Weston Community Garden — A place where community members could reserve a garden plot of their own or simply enjoy the area for shared gardening
  • “The Cross” Soup Kitchen — A Christian-based soup kitchen that would feed anyone who is having a hard time in our community and in need of a free and warm meal

During the past two SOUP events, attendees have awarded a total of approximately $1,800 to two local projects — Open Streets Wausau and Wausau Makerspace — both of which will have progress updates provided at SOUPthree.

This time around, the soup will be provided by Becca’s Café and the bread is being donated by The 6th Street Filling Station Café. Other SOUPthree community partners include River Valley Bank, the Village of Weston, Mid-Wisconsin Beverage, Arrow Sports Club & Grill, and Wausau Area Access Media.

SOUPthree Recap

WHAT: SOUPthree — A community micro-granting dinner and pop-up art gallery

WHEN: Thursday, April 27, 2017, from 6:00–9:00 PM

WHERE: 5303 East Jelinek Avenue, Weston (formerly Becker Communications)

COST: $5 cash donation

For more information, visit Wausau SOUP on Facebook, check out the SOUPthree event page, or call 1-844-MCDEVCO.

Special Note:

YPWeekWausauLogoSOUPthree takes place during YPWeek Wausau. Check out “14 Inspiring Events for Young Professionals :: YPWeek Wausau (April 22–29, 2017)” for details on this HUGE, event-filled week featuring local events — like a Speaker Crawl, Riverfront Rally, Cultural Festival, and more — designed to inspire young adults in the Wausau area to think differently, make things happen, and take pride in living in our community.

There’s so much enthusiasm for YPWeek that they’ve even added one more event — a Toward One Wausau YP Roundtable at an empty downtown storefront (305 3rd St.) — bringing the total up to 15 events now!

YPWeek Wausau is presented by Greenheck Fan Corporation and supported by MCDEVCO, Wisconsin Public Radio, Kocourek, Mid-Wisconsin Beverage, Underground Sound & Light, Bull Falls Brewery, and the USA Today Network. The full schedule of events is available here or on the YPWeek Wausau Facebook page.

Grab your friends and have a BLAST at these upcoming local events!

Nick O'Brien - Community Engagement Specialist - MCDEVCONick O’Brien

Community Engagement Specialist  |  MCDEVCO, Inc.

Nick O’Brien began his duties with MCDEVCO, Inc., in 2016. His primary role as Community Engagement Specialist is to connect people, places, and purposes in the community to each other. After his move to Marathon County from Illinois in 2012, he worked with WAOW-TV 9 as a sports anchor/reporter, followed by more than a year managing a young professionals initiative for the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce. When he’s not promoting community resources, people, and organizations, Nick loves traveling, seeing live music concerts, and playing sports.

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