The 25th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser set a new mark this year, surpassing its goal of $50,000 for the Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield.
Aimed at combating hunger in the local community, this year’s Empty Bowls fundraiser brought in $50,187, which equates to 250,935 meals for those in need. Wittenberg’s Department of Art in conjunction with Catholic Charities hosted the Empty Bowls fundraiser, March 14, inside Wittenberg’s Central Dining Room (CDR). The event is virtually a 100 percent profit fundraiser with almost all of the materials, food, and time being donated for the event.
The 25-year total for the event is $547,188, which translates into 2,372,592 meals for those in need in Clark, Champaign, and Logan counties. There were more than 100 event sponsors this year.
“I am continually amazed by Wittenberg and the Springfield community. This is truly inspirational,” said Scott Dooley, professor of art at Wittenberg, and one of the coordinators of the event. “There are so many people who help make this event a success each year; the list of volunteers has truly become too long to list. There are well over 80 volunteers that helped the night of the event. Thanks again for the campus support for this event. Also, thank you to Wittenberg Student Senate’s Build a Better Wittenberg. Their funding helped to cover the expense of the clay used to make the bowls during the year, as well as the printing costs for our annual pamphlet.”
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.
Throughout the year, 1,080 bowls were crafted in preparation for the event, with most of the work occurring on Saturdays. Dooley’s Art 392 Ceramics II course this spring included a community-engaged learning component with Empty Bowls. Students taking the course threw more than 150 bowls for the event. Students included Devon Atchison ’19 of Pataskala, Ohio; Sarah Baker ’19 of Springfield, Ohio; Ashley Eckenrode ’19 of Wellsville, Ohio; Spencer Laughman ’19 of Hinsdale, Illinois; Emily Orabella ’19 of Loveland, Ohio; and Bailey Parkinson ’20 of Springfield, Ohio. Community members Susan Finster, Carol Culbertson, and Lynn Riewerts-Carine provided considerable help. Bowl thrower and glazers included Dooley; Finster; Culbertson; Atchison; Baker; Eckenrode; Laughman; Orabella; Parkinson; Amy Henry; Alisa Mizikar; Lynn Riewerts-Carine; Leslie Morris; Alena Mohler; Charlie Davis; Alexis Gibson; Elizabeth Wetterstroem; Natasha Foster; Casey Luther ’20 of Springfield, Ohio; Katlyn Roberts ’20 of Springfield, Ohio; Samantha Stephens ’19 of Dayton, Ohio; and Lynn Wheeler. Roberts, Mizikar, Morris, Finster, Culbertson, and Riewerts-Carine. Dooley also donated art for the raffle.
“We also had 50 bowls brought in from Midwest Academy in Indiana,” Dooley said. “A Wittenberg alum, Lauren Brady (Luecke), class of 2010, teaches there. Lauren was the Empty Bowls student coordinator in 2010. She brought seven students over to volunteer for the 25th annual event. Katlyn Roberts was this year’s student coordinator and worked diligently to help organize the event, throw bowls, and line up volunteers. Sam Stephens also helped out during the year.
“I also want to extend a huge thank you to the Parkhurst Dining staff, especially Deb Hamm because in addition to being a major sponsor for Empty Bowls and helping with food preparation and clean-up for the event, they had the alternate food set-up for students,” Dooley continued. “To say the least, they had an incredibly busy night, and I would like to applaud them on their efforts. Without the Parkhurst staff as our partners on this project, we would not be able to run such an event. Sarah Shivler is also instrumental in organizing the set-up of the event and Alpha and Omega Custodial Services helped with the set-up and take-down in the CDR.”
As the only food bank in Clark, Champaign, and Logan Counties, Second Harvest Food Bank distributes more than 6 million pounds of food annually, with more than 4 million pounds going directly to Clark County. Second Harvest Food Bank’s daily operation for 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.