Still going strong, Wittenberg’s annual Empty Bowls fundraiser will celebrate 25 years in 2019. This year’s highly-anticipated event will take place from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14, in the Center Dining Room (CDR), located on the second floor of the university's Benham-Pence Student Center.
Empty Bowls exemplifies Wittenberg’s service-based mission, which encourages all students to discern their vocations and to understand the meaningful connection between self-fulfillment and service to the world. The goal for this year’s event is to raise $50,000 after tallying $46,828 last year.
Wittenberg’s Department of Art in conjunction with Catholic Charities hosts the Empty Bowls fundraiser, proceeds from which support Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield. This year’s event is organized through the efforts of a steering committee, which includes Scott Dooley, professor of art at Wittenberg; student coordinator Katlyn Roberts, class of 2020, from Springfield, Ohio; Mary Alice Neely; Anna Plataniotis; Katie Wade; and the staff at Second Harvest Food Bank.
Crispin Prebys, associate professor of art at Wittenberg, designed the promotional posters for the event. Sarah Baker, class of 2019 from Springfield, Ohio, who is an art major and graphic artist, designed this year’s event T-shirts that will be available for purchase. An artwork raffle is on the schedule, too.
Soups and breads are donated by local restaurants and proceeds benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties.
“Wittenberg has been running its version of Empty Bowls for 24 years and the event has been a great success, raising more than $497,000, which equates to 2,121,657 meals for Catholic Charities Second Harvest Food Bank,” Dooley said. “Empty Bowls is a loosely run national fundraising campaign aimed at combating hunger in local communities. There are Empty Bowls events hosted all over the country. The Second Harvest Food Bank lines up sponsors to donate the food. Patrons choose a bowl to purchase, and enjoy a soup dinner and conversation with fellow community members. Patrons take the bowl home with them as a reminder that there are many people in our community that are hungry. All of the money goes to the Second Harvest Food Bank to help feed the hungry in Springfield and Clark County.”
Cost of a bowl is $15 per person and guarantees a handcrafted bowl and dinner, which includes a selection of soup and bread. Every dollar raised provides five meals to hungry families in the community. The purchase of one bowl will provide 75 meals. Wittenberg has sold out of bowls in the past, so guests who wish to see the full selection and be assured of getting a bowl should plan to come early.
Wittenberg ceramics students, faculty, staff and a few community members make the handcrafted ceramic bowls used at the event. Empty Bowls' "Throwing Days" take place throughout the year as bowls are thrown, glazed and fired. In total, more than 1,000 bowls are created for the fundraising event.
This event would not be possible without support from event sponsors. Among this year’s soup sponsors are Coppertop Restaurant, Buckeye Sports Lodge, Los Mariachis, Linardos Villa, Parkhurst and Me’la Urban Bistro. Little Caesars, O’Charley’s, and Texas Road House will be providing the bread.
Major donors for the 2019 Empty Bowls fundraiser include Honda of America, Columbia Gas, Rob Baker and Mary Jo Groves, Don Johnson, Assurant, Heidelberg Distributing Company, Wallace & Turner Insurance, Steve and Mary Alice Neely, Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Community Health Foundation, Huntington Bank, Kohl’s Department Store, Michael and Ann DuVall, Betsy and James Dean, Dulce and Mitchell Hurst, The Kroger Company, Richwood Bank, Ohio Masonic Home, Sheehan Brothers Vending Services Inc., State Representative Kyle Koehler, and Villa Springfield Health and Rehabilitation Center.
“Empty Bowls is a wonderful way for Second Harvest Food Bank to bring the community together. The event wouldn’t be possible without the support of local businesses, restaurants, and individuals joining together in raising awareness to end hunger. We are hoping to have a full house to celebrate our 25th Empty Bowls this year. Each year the event gets better. We look forward to seeing you,” said Tyra Jackson, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank.
As the only food bank in Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties, Second Harvest Food Bank distributes more than six million pounds of food annually, with more than four million pounds going directly to Clark County. Second Harvest Food Bank’s daily operation consists of sourcing and gathering food, sorting and cataloging the food, then warehousing the inventory to be distributed to agency members throughout a three-county service area.
Second Harvest Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and is responsible for safe handling of all food products adhering to state and federal guidelines, including providing member oversight to pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.
For information or to become a sponsor of this year’s Empty Bowls event, please contact either Dooley at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jackson at (937) 325-8715 ext. 112 or email@example.com. Sponsorships begin at the $100 level and, depending on the level of sponsorship, include several bowls and mention in press releases and event signage.
Free parking is available in the lots behind Krieg Hall and the Benham-Pence Student Center, which both have entrances off West Ward Street.
About Second Harvest
Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties, a program of Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio and member of Feeding America, serves the tri-county community by sourcing, collecting, storing and distributing over six million pounds of food to 65 non-profit member agencies who feed the hungry directly. Second Harvest is focused on bringing healthy, nutritious food to those in our communities struggling with hunger through innovative programs such as senior food initiatives and mobile pantry distributions.
About Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio
Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio has served the most vulnerable in our community for nearly 100 years. Our programs serve the poor, protect the vulnerable and welcome the stranger regardless of their religious background or country of origin. Our mission to enlighten, serve and empower is enabled by the generosity of donors and volunteers. Together, we serve and bring hope to more than 82,000 people each year. Visit www.ccswoh.org to learn more.