A hot cup of soup (make that five soups) on a chilly day was the secret to a successful fundraiser at this year's Christmas in Clinton.
Bruno Ceniccola of Ceniccola's Italian Deli & Pizzeria (Route 81 just north of Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets) took home the top honors with their winning pasta fagioli.
It was the first "Families Helping Families Best Soup in Clinton Bowl" event.
How it worked was five chefs from five Clinton restaurants each made their best soup. For a donation of $5, folks signed up to be judges and made their way from one place to the next during the Dec. 2 Christmas in Clinton event.
They went to Malone’s Coffee House, Chip’s Pub III, Ceniccola’s at Liberty Bank, Palmieri's at Shore TV and Appliances, and Saldamarco’s.
The winner was awarded an engraved soup bowl trophy which they can display until next year's contest.
Proceeds benefit Families Helping Families and Clinton Social Services.
Miner Vincent, president of Families Helping Families, said hundreds of people signed up to taste and judge the five different soups.
"The real winners will be the children of Clinton as all proceeds will go to a new Families Helping Families program called "FHF Clinton Kids Initiative," said Vincent. "Through this program we will meet on a quarterly basis with Clinton Social Services Director Cheryl Church to determine the most pressings needs of Clinton children and attempt to meet them."
This soup event raised more than $700 all of which will go towards helping Clinton children," added Vincent.
Bruno Ceniccola said it was a great honor to win.
"I was glad to help out Families Helping Families," said Ceniccola. "It was a smart and useful event and it was great to see so many people. I think 150 people tried my soup!"