Soup Sunday raises money for Youth Villages

Soup Sunday raises money for Youth Villages

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Rich aromas filled the FedEx Forum this weekend as 3,000 Mid-Southerners chowed down on samples of mouth-watering dishes, which were served up by some of the best restaurants around.

It was part of the 31st annual Soup Sunday, a fundraiser that benefits Youth Villages and its mentoring program.

"Memphis has an amazing culinary community and every single year more than 50 restaurants will show up with the best eats," said Richard Shaw, the chief development officer for Youth Villages.

Shaw said Soup Sunday is the biggest fundraiser for Youth Villages in west Tennessee.

"What we've learned over time is that young people can do amazing results if they have one responsible adult in their life that encourages them and sees things in them that they don't see in themselves," said Shaw.

And Shaw should know. He was one of Fred Burns' mentors.

Burns spent several years in foster care growing up.

"When we age out of foster care at the age of 18, we don't have it all figured out," Burns said. "We think we do, but we don't."

He now owns a software development company and showed off one of his latest products at Soup Sunday. Burns said his mentors at Youth Villages, like Shaw, made it all possible.

"It has completely transformed me. It's changed the entire trajectory of my life," said Burns. "Now, being here and having this device because of mentors who guided me."

Shaw said Soup Sunday will raise more than $75,000 for Youth Villages, ensuring more Mid-South kids will get to follow in Fred’s footsteps.

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