Wittenberg Set to Host 23rd Annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser

Springfield, Ohio – Aimed at combating hunger in the local community, the 23rd annual Empty Bowls fundraiser will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16. The event 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.

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.

As always, Wittenberg’s Central Dining Room (CDR), located on the second floor of the Benham-Pence Student Center, will serve as the venue. 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 our community. The purchase of one bowl will provide 75 meals.

After being washed by a volunteer, each bowl can be taken home, serving as a reminder that every night someone’s bowl is empty and that many people go hungry each day in this country.

The goal for this year’s event is to raise $55,000 – a mark set after last year’s event tallied more than $45,000. In the 22 years Wittenberg has coordinated Empty Bowls, students and the Springfield community have raised more than $408,750 for Second Harvest Food Bank, which equates to 1,675,392 meals for Catholic Charities Second Harvest Food Bank. There are Empty Bowls events hosted across the country.

“This is truly a community event that brings in many people from Springfield and is a major fundraising event for Second Harvest Food Bank,” said Professor of Art Scott Dooley. “We hope to continue growing this project in an effort to bring awareness to food insecurity in the Springfield area.”

Second Harvest Food Bank is a non-profit organization that collects and provides food supplies to more than 100 local feeding programs in the surrounding areas of Clark, Champaign and Logan counties.

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, approximately 1,000 bowls are created for the fundraising event.

The 2016-17 Empty Bowls student coordinator is art major Elizabeth Wetterstroem, class of 2018, from Galena, Ohio. Hannah Fournier, class of 2014 from Dayton, Ohio, and Crispin Prebys, assistant professor of art, designed the promotional posters for the event. T-shirts, designed by Fournier, will be available for purchase, and an artwork raffle is on the schedule, too.

This event would not be possible without support from event sponsors. Bread sponsors include Domino’s Pizza and Texas Road House. The soup sponsors this year are Parkhurst Dining, Bob Evans Restaurants, Los Mariachis, Coppertop Restaurant, Seasons Bistro and Grille, Essex of Springfield, Mela Urban Bistro and Grille, the Buckeye Sports Lodge, Linardos Villa, Cecil and Lime, the Jaguar Room and Panera Bread.

Other major event sponsors include:
Golden Spoon Sponsor Level, Silver Spoon Level, VIP Sponsor Level, and Major Event In-Kind Sponsors.

Sponsorships will be accepted through March 16, the day of the event. If you are interested in being a sponsor for the 2017 event, feel free to contact either Dooley at sdooley@wittenberg.edu or Rose Bradley at 937-325-8715 of Second Harvest Food Bank. Sponsorships begin at the $100 level and, depending on the level of sponsorship, include several bowls and mention in press releases and event signage.

Many years the bowls sell out, and if this happens, patrons may enjoy a meal at a reduced price using disposable bowls. Rainbow Table 1 soup kitchen will share any leftover food items from the event the next day.

Free parking is available in the lots behind Krieg Hall and the Benham-Pence Student Center, which both have entrances off West Ward Street.