SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The hand-crafted ceramic bowls made by Wittenberg students for the annual Empty Bowls fund-raising event on April 18 aren’t just handy for a morning cereal craving. In a clear win-win situation, 13 of the bowls will be handed out as thank-you gifts to local residents who volunteered as county coordinators for the Congressional High School Art Competition.
Empty Bowls, an annual event on Wittenberg’s campus for more than a decade as part of a national project that helps organizations fight hunger, raised a record $5,650 in 2005 for 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.
The event, offering all-you-can-eat soups and breads in keepsake bowls for a $10 donation, was attended by several members of U.S. Rep. Dave Hobson’s Springfield office who decided the bowls would make good gifts for the county coordinators while also contributing money to a good cause.
The county coordinators, who will receive the awards at the district art show on May 15 at the Springfield Museum of Art, hail from all corners of Hobson’s congressional district. They coordinated county shows and the judging process that is part of the annual Congressional High School Art Competition, which has been existence for more than 20 years. One piece of artwork from each participating district hangs in the Cannon Tunnel between two congressional office buildings in Washington, D.C., each year.
One person is annually selected to represent each of the approximately 360 participating congressional districts, but there is no federal money involved. County coordinators donate their time to help a program that promotes arts in high schools. The Clark County portion of the program was held on April 9 in Wittenberg’s Koch Hall, ironically enough the same building where university students were busily throwing bowls for the fund-raiser.
“We truly appreciate the ongoing enthusiasm and support the Wittenberg students, staff, faculty and the Springfield community bring to this event,” said Empty Bowls organizer Scott Dooley, assistant professor of art.
Dooley sent out a campus e-mail after the event, thanking 28 individual students who either threw bowls or helped coordinate the actual event, led by student organizers Mallory Woods, class of 2006, and Jessica King, class of 2006, as well as Just Eve, Wittenberg’s all-female a cappella group, and the Imani Gospel Choir, both of which performed at the event. Several other campus organizations and administrators were noted as providing contributions as well.
Also of note were sponsorships by several individuals and corporations. Fifth Third Bank, Madison Avenue Pharmacy and Klosterman Baking Co. provided monetary contributions and received recognition as “Table Sponsors.” Dr. Mary Jo Groves, Wittenberg’s university physician, Vice President for University Advancement Chuck Dominick, Kay Francis Bishop, C.P.A., McKinnon’s Florist, Perkins Family Restaurants, and Wallace and Turner, Inc., were recognized for their contributions with “Soup Spoon Sponsor” status. Sodexho Food Services, Dole Fresh Vegetables and Howard’s IGA provided in-kind gifts.
— Ryan Maurer