Empty Bowls raises $18,000
HUNTINGTON — Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Buy a man a ceramic bowl at the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser and you feed 64.
Scott Frasure, director of development for the Huntington Area Food Bank, the beneficiary of the fundraiser, said for every bowl purchased, the food bank is able to provide 64 meals to its clients.
“Empty Bowls is our largest fundraiser. Since the event was officially indoctrinated into the service learning program at Marshall, the quality of the bowls has grown tremendously,” Frasure said.
The fundraiser, sponsored by the Marshall University College of Fine Arts, allows patrons to receive a one-of-a-kind ceramic bowl made by Marshall students and a bowl of soup for $12. This year’s event featured 1,100 bowls in a variety of colors and patterns.
More than $18,000 was generated for the food bank at Friday’s event.
A new component of the fundraiser this year was its function as a service learning project for Marshall students. Frederick Bartolovic, assistant professor of art and design at Marshall, worked alongside Frasure in planning for the service learning angle.
The project included making the bowls, with each individual piece taking between 15 minutes to an hour before firing time, and spending time working hands-on at the food bank.
“(Bartolovic) wanted to make the project more involved so he and I worked it out. It’s a whole new concept for Empty Bowls,” Frasure said. “It’s a very productive partnership for MU and the HAFB.”
Vickie Miller picked up a speckled bowl at this year’s event, her first visit to the fundraiser.
“It’s a great deal just for the bowl and lunch by itself, but knowing you’re helping the greater good makes it that much more enticing,” Miller said.
Frasure said the event also has an awareness piece for the community.
“One out of four children, one out of six adults and one out of 10 seniors are at risk of hunger nationally, and those numbers are even greater here in our region,” he said.
The Huntington Area Food Bank serves 96,000 people in 12 counties in southern West Virginia, four counties in Kentucky and Lawrence County, Ohio, through a network of 260 agencies.
The fundraiser is staged with the help of area eateries and various churches, including the host First Presbyterian Church. Bread products and drinks were also donated to assist with the event. Volunteers, coordinated by Christian Associates, staffed the four-hour, lunchtime fundraiser.
“This is our ninth year and I’m so pleased, just as I am every year. It feels as if we’re getting more and more community participation in volunteers and donors and even just people coming,” said Jaye Ike, special project coordinator at Marshall’s College of Fine Arts. “And, we’re just thrilled with the amount of money raised.”