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Evers, area restaurateurs soup up FedExForum

April 2, 2010

Steve Evers of The Melting Pot prepares chocolate fondue, a featured sweet at Youth Villages’ Soup Sunday.

Steve Evers of The Melting Pot in Memphis brought foodstuffs for dipping and chocolate fondue to this year’s Soup Sunday event.

Evers has participated in Youth Villages’ Soup Sunday for several years, one of many local restaurant owners who participate in the annual fundraiser.

This year, more than 40 area restaurants participated Feb. 28 at FedExForum in Memphis. The first Soup Sunday was held in February 1990 at Captain Bilbo’s in downtown Memphis. The inaugural event was an immediate success, drawing hundreds of participants. Before long, Soup Sunday was one of the area’s favorite events. In addition to great food, other attractions such as the Doctor’s Dance Band and event staples like the Oreo-stacking contest make Soup Sunday one of the most popular annual events in Memphis.

Andrew Webb of Midtown Memphis gets soup from Red Lobster’s Jonavin Murray.

Soup Sunday raised about $60,000 this year to benefit Youth Villages’ mentoring programs. In addition to participating in Soup Sunday, Evers has also been a mentor for three youth from the Youth Villages Bartlett Campus. He’s about to begin mentoring a fourth.

“I spent time in foster homes and orphanages growing up,” he said. “I spent time with organizations like Youth Villages, and I always wanted someone like a mentor to come and take me out of there for a little while.”

Shiyan Kesser, 8, enjoys some soup.

Evers mentors and volunteers partly because he’s able – but he is personally driven to help also. He has lived a life that stories are written about, spending years in the music business managing such talent as Waylon Jennings and Buddy Holly’s band, The Crickets. His biological father died when he was 2 years old, and he left home after his stepfather was killed.

“I wasn’t a perfect child,” he said. “Like other kids, I had issues. But I decided one day that I wasn’t going to go down that road, and I took myself out of that element and avoided those bad influences.”

Now a few years removed from almost three decades in music, Evers is in a position to help.

For ways you can help, please visit www.youthvillages.org.

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