Soup Sunday: A Recipe in Friendship

By Mandy Stanage Shoptaw | Photography by Dero Sanford

Krishna’s makeup by Maya Ellington | Wardrobe from BagItUpBoutique.com | Kirby’s hair by Ashley Altman with Sola Salon Studios | Makeup by Ashley Springer with Belle & Blush | Wardrobe from E. Leigh’s | Shot on location at Come on to My House

   Krishna Ellington and Kirby Miraglia didn’t meet each other until they both joined the 2018 Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families Soup Sunday Committee. Fellow committee members noticed a friendship developing between the two and nominated them to serve as chairmen of the 38th annual event. And the committee was spot on in the choice. The two women, each bringing key ingredients to the table, seem to have mastered the recipe for success.

   More than 30 restaurants will provide samples of soups, and there are new attractions to delight guests including a little friendly competition. “This year we are introducing the Golden Ladle award, which will be presented to the People’s Choice of Best Soup,” notes Krishna. The VIP Patron Room will feature soup from Ciao Baci Executive Chef Jeff Owen. “The atmosphere and community at Soup Sunday is like none other. We have some fun, new auction items this year,” adds Kirby, an associate attorney with Wright Lindsey and Jennings. “I’m particularly excited that Meagan Davis will be doing a live event painting that will be part of our live auction.”

   Established in 1977, with offices in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas, Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families work with legislators, coalitions and policy researchers on behalf of Arkansans who don’t have a strong voice in the public arena. Proceeds from the event support continued advocacy that impacts the welfare of Arkansas families.

   “Most people don’t think about public policy all day, the way we do,” explains Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families Development Director Kerri Michael. “And it’s especially important to make sure that public policy is responsive to the needs of children. Investing in our kids is the smartest investment we can make as a state.” Kirby continues, “My father was a dentist and good dental health is ingrained in me. In 2011, Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families advocated for and succeeded in keeping fluoride in the drinking water and has worked to preserve that legislation. In a lot of rural areas, this may be the only dental care that a child will receive. That one legislative act has had a positive and healthy impact on so many Arkansas children.”

   For Krishna, civic leadership is a family affair. “The Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families mission and purpose keep me close to the memory of my grandparents, Earlis & Gertrude Jackson, who worked as local activists in Phillips County. They played a central role in the local civil rights movement by initiating a lawsuit to desegregate the schools,” Krishna shares. “There are two quotes that drive my desire to be of service in any capacity: ‘many hands make light work’ and ‘service is the rent you pay for room on this earth’ – we can use more volunteers to help with Soup Sunday. Have you paid rent lately?”

About the Author

This feature was shot on location at the home of Vince and Mandy Shoptaw of Little Rock. Mandy is a media and event expert who recently launched a YouTube channel for www.ComeOnToMyHouse.com where she and guests share easy DIY projects, crafts, recipes, entertaining ideas, and much under the categories of “grow . create . inspire.” Her favorite soup is Butternut Squash.

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