SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Not many people can say they have eaten pizza and thrown bowls for four hours on multiple occasions during a school year, but that’s a certain claim to fame for a group of Wittenberg students.
These weren’t just chance get-togethers, however. The students and Assistant Professor of Art Scott Dooley once again crafted hundreds of soup bowls in preparation for the annual Empty Bowls charity fundraiser, which is scheduled for 4-8 p.m. Monday, April 18, in room 105 of Wittenberg University’s Shouvlin Center.
The event, now more than a decade old on Wittenberg’s campus, raises money to help fight hunger in Springfield and surrounding communities. Empty Bowls is a national project that provides support for food banks, soup kitchens and other organizations that combat hunger.
At Wittenberg, this event has become a popular spring tradition, offering all-you-can-eat soups and breads for a $10 donation. Patrons are allowed to keep one handcrafted keepsake bowl of their choice as part of the event to remind them throughout the rest of the year that many people go hungry in the community each day. All proceeds will benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank, which serves Clark, Logan and Champaign counties. Second Harvest is one of 200 agencies nationwide that provides needy individuals with bulk food donations.
“So many people helped work on Empty Bowls this year,” said student organizer Mallory Woods of Urbana, Ohio, class of 2006, who is working on the event for the first time as part of her community service project, a graduation requirement at Wittenberg. “The hours put into Empty Bowls go in many directions — from Catholic Social Services, the Wittenberg Dining Service, people making bowls, people helping out the day of the event, and even Scott Dooley’s ceramics classes.
“The most nerve-racking part was probably making sure all of the bowls were made and that takes a lot of counting, time in the kiln and glazing. Everyone has done such a fabulous job of making sure everything is in place for the event.”
Last year, the event raised more than $5,600, a record amount. As always, the goal for the upcoming event is to exceed previous numbers. Even with a record number of bowls crafted (more than 550), patrons are encouraged to arrive early because past year’s events have sold out of the keepsake bowls in the first few hours.
“I think that on the day of the event, everyone (who worked on the event) will feel very rewarded,” Woods said. “The experience has helped us feel that we are a part of something that benefits the community.”
Free parking is available behind Krieg Hall on Ward St. as well as in the Benham-Pence Student Center lot. For more information, contact Dooley at (937) 327-6327.
— Ryan Maurer