SOCK fundraiser to return to Cobo Center

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published October 16, 2017

 Brother Jerry Johnson, executive director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, spoke at last year’s SOCK fundraiser to encourage the community to support the institution’s mission of assisting those in need.

Brother Jerry Johnson, executive director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, spoke at last year’s SOCK fundraiser to encourage the community to support the institution’s mission of assisting those in need.

Photo provided by Erica Sanders

DETROIT — The Capuchin Soup Kitchen of Detroit is inviting members of the community to help it in its mission of feeding and serving the underprivileged by joining it at the 45th annual Support Our Capuchin Kitchen fundraiser.

The SOCK fundraiser will take place between 5:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 27, in Cobo Center’s Grand Riverview Ballroom. It will include a dinner and a silent auction followed by an afterglow reception.

“The dinner is a sit-down meal for about 1,000 people,” said Erica Sanders, special events coordinator for the Capuchins. “Roop Raj, of Channel 2 news, is our master of ceremonies. We will have comments from Brother Jerry Johnson, the executive director of the soup kitchen; the soup kitchen choir will perform; and the Aldo Mastro Award will be presented. We highlight a program at the soup kitchen, and this year we’re highlighting the On the Rise Bakery, which will provide cookies for the event.”

Michael Morin, SOCK co-chair, said this event is the kitchen’s most significant fundraiser of the year and is crucial to completing its mission. He said that mission is incredibly important to the community and assists people in need in a variety of ways.

“There are people in our community who are struggling. It could be because they don’t have enough to eat, because they found themselves out of a job or because they fell victim to substance abuse,” said Morin. “I think I have a responsibility to help others, and this is a way to assist those I might not encounter in my daily life, and help in a way that could profoundly change their life.”

Tickets for the SOCK fundraiser are available for $250 per person and can be purchased by calling (313) 579-2100, ext. 153, or ordering online at Those attending are encouraged to make a donation of a new pair of socks at the event. A donation bin will be on-site to collect warm socks, which will be distributed to those in need. All sizes are needed.

“SOCK is the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s major fundraising event. It is a cause that really gives back to those in need,” said Sanders. “We don’t receive any government funding or support, so we rely on our friends to support us. SOCK is a great way to put people together and network and see what the soup kitchen is all about.”

The evening will include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dinner, entertainment and a silent auction. An online auction also will be available with bidding open until Oct. 20, also at

Morin wanted to stress that the Capuchin Soup Kitchen is a community leader and works with several other assistance groups, such as Gleaners Community Food Bank, Jewish Vocational Services, Wayne State University and Latino Family Services.

“The Capuchin friars need us to be the hands of Jesus to those in need,” said Morin. “It’s a Christian-focused mission.”

During the course of the night, the Aldo Mastro Award will be presented posthumously to Father Peter Lentine, who was a fervent supporter of the kitchen in the past. The award recipient is chosen by the Capuchin brothers who oversee the pantry.

“The Aldo Mastro Award was named for a past supporter of SOCK who garnered a lot of community support,” explained Sanders. “For the past six or seven years, we’ve honored an individual who has supported the SOCK event or the kitchen itself. This year, we are honoring Father Peter S. Lentine, the former pastor of St. Philomena Parish, who recently died, for his support to the kitchen and his help starting the On the Rise Bakery.”

Those organizing the SOCK fundraiser are hoping the community continues its support of the venerable institution and aids in providing help for those in need.

“One of the things that happens in an event like this are people coming together who are friends of the soup kitchen and friends of each other,” said Morin. “These are people who are passionate about the mission the soup kitchen does, whether it’s to fulfill the basic need of food or helping in other ways, like aiding those suffering from substance abuse or those trying to restart after being imprisoned. These different ministries satisfy the needs of people who are desperate and give them a way they can find solutions to their problems.”