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Stone Soup bowling for bucks at Saturday fundraiser

The Stone Soup Thrift Shop wanted to score a strike with its upcoming fundraiser but might be hoping for a spare.

Pledges to the St. Paul Park thrift shop are down significantly from last year and are well below the goal for the annual Stone Soup'er Bowl fundraising event on Saturday, April 27.

Stone Soup director Majel Carroll said while there are more teams registered for this year -- 53 compared to about 40 last year -- donations are lagging.

Leading up to Saturday's event there was $35,000 pledged, said Carroll, who had set a goal of $60,000 for this year.

Last year's event generated over $50,000.

Teams can sign up in the next few days and can just show up on Saturday, Carroll said. There are available bowling slots at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Donations collected on the day of the event can amount to $10,000, which is why organizers are hoping to coax last-minute bowlers to Park Grove Bowl in St. Paul Park.

"We need more teams if we can get them," she said.

Money collected from the bowling fundraiser helps to pay Stone Soup's rent at 950 Third St., in the building adjacent to Oltman Middle School. It also pays for staff salaries and to offset the cost of items given for free to people who cannot afford to buy clothes, home furnishings or other basic items. Last year Stone Soup had $123,000 in merchandise sales but gave away $153,000 worth of merchandise. That is part of Stone Soup's mission, but Carroll said it still needs to raise money to cover its costs.

Sluggish fundraising isn't unique to Stone Soup.

"The fundraising is down, but (in) talking to other nonprofits, it's kind of the same all over," she said.

People interested in signing up for the Soup'er Bowl can get information on Stone Soup's website at, or can just show up at Park Grove Bowl.

Besides bowling, the event includes food, giveaways and free T-shirts to participants. There is a costume contest with awards for the team with the best costume at each bowling session, along with awards for top money raised by team, individual and youth.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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