Published March 28, 2012
Springfield, Ohio – The lines extended throughout Wittenberg University’s Benham-Pence Student Center well before the doors opened for the 18th Empty Bowls fundraiser on March 22, a testament to the beloved community tradition that the event has become. Hosted by Wittenberg’s Department of Art and Catholic Social Charities, with support from local sponsors and donors, Empty Bowls raised more than $36,000 to feed the hungry in the local community.
It was the second straight year that Wittenberg’s Empty Bowls event exceeded $36,000. Proceeds go to Second Harvest Food Bank, which provides food supplies to the poor and homeless throughout Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties.
A total of 1,012 ceramic bowls were thrown for the event using a pottery wheel and then trimmed, fired and glazed throughout the year by volunteers, including students, university faculty and staff members, and Springfield community members. Participants paid $15 for a hand-crafted bowl and access to a soup, salad and bread buffet, T-shirts designed by Eliza Waggoner, class of 2008, were sold, and a silent auction took place during the event.
A small number of bowls remain available for purchase.
Anna Plataniotis, events coordinator for Catholic Social Services/Second Harvest Food Bank, publicized the event in the community and tirelessly worked to secure food donations and sponsorships. The 2011-12 Empty Bowls student coordinator is Dana Makstaller, class of 2012 from Cincinnati, Ohio. After serving an internship with Second Harvest during the fall semester, Makstaller also helped plan the first annual Empty Bowls event at Urbana University in February.
Major event sponsors for the 2012 event include Wittenberg Student Senate – Build a Better Wittenberg, Dr. Dana and Judy King, Madison Avenue Pharmacy, G.O.C. Ladies Philoptochos Society, Villa Springfield Health and Rehabilitation Center, Eaglewood Village and Sodexo. V.I.P. Sponsors include ESSEX of Springfield, Patrick and Kit Field, Home City Federal Savings Bank, Rollins Moving & Storage, Speedway LLC, and Wallace & Turner Insurance. Soup donors include Bob Evans Farm, Mic’s Italian Restaurant, O’Charley’s Restaurant, Seasons Bistro Bar & Grille and Sodexo Catering Service.
“Thanks to all of you that came out to support the event,” said Professor of Art and Department Chair Scott Dooley, who has managed the university’s role in hosting the event since coming to campus in 2000. “Although this is just an increase of a few hundred dollars from the 2011 total, I am proud that we were able to keep the total at the same level. During the challenging economic downturn of the last four years there have been many foundations and organizations that have been forced to cut funding.
“But we have been able increase and maintain totals by over $14,000 during this four year period. I am continually amazed by Wittenberg and the Springfield community – truly inspirational!”
Written By: Ryan Maurer
Photos By: Erin Pence