LEWISTON—The smell of chili and soup wafted through the air of The Atrium at Bate’s Mill on Saturday afternoon as 15 slow cookers vying for the grand prize lined the hallway of the former mill complex.

The challenge, organized by Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice, works to raise money for the Hospice House’s annual 5k & Remembrance Walk held each May. 

Danielle Eaton of Litchfield, a member of the Hospice House’s Dream Team, a core group of fundraisers who work all year to raise money for the Remembrance Walk, submitted a broccoli cheese soup to the contest. She felt good about her chances of winning the prize.

“It’s basically melted Velveeta. You can’t really go wrong,” Eaton said. 

Dave Thorpe of Harrison, chaplain of Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice, wasn’t shy about revealing the method to his tasty Peruvian fish chowder.

“It’s done with a tomato and onion base and you fry that,” he said. “Then you fry your fish, and add in your shrimp, bring some boiling water, then towards the end of it you add some oregano, and some salt and pepper to taste.”  


“It’s no secret,” he said. “I don’t have secrets.”

Kate Sicotte, clinical supervisor at Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice, said the event is one of many fundraisers the “Dream Team” organizes throughout the year, the soup, chili, and chowder challenge being one of many fundraisers. Last year, they raised over $20,000 for the walk.

Last year, about 400 people either ran or walked during the event that raised money for those who did not have insurance or the money to pay for end-of-life care.

Savory roasted squash bisque, Italian corn chowder, carroty carrot soup — a battle royale of soups and chilis, with two worthy victors.

The People’s Choice winner was Ken Albert for his savory roasted squash bisque. It turns out the judges couldn’t resist melted Velveeta: Eaton took home the Judge’s prize for her broccoli cheese soup. 

Danielle Eaton of Litchfield made broccoli cheese soup for the Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice fundraiser held Saturday at Bates Mill. (Jon Bolduc/Sun Journal)

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