BALTIMORE – Attendance was down, but revenues were up for the second annual Empty Bowls Project fundraiser March 17 at the Baltimore VFW to gather donations for the Community Chest and the Baltimore- Thurston Food Pantry. Participating churches included Baltimore United Methodist, Christ United Methodist, Faith Lutheran, New Zion United Methodist, St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, Thurston United Methodist, and Trinity United Church of Christ.
This year’s event raised more than $ 4,000, which exceeds last year’s total of $3,800. “Your goal is always to add a little more,” said project co-coordinator Jill Dunlap. “We are certainly pleased with the results.” She said there were other local events happening that day, which affected Empty Bowls’ attendance, but the auction really helped. “It was the first year for the auction; that’s what made up the revenue,” said Dunlap. “The auction was new and a great success.”
The silent auction featured items from celebrities Jack Hanna, Hope Taft, Gordon Gee and Zach Boren as well items from local artists Michelle Stitzlein and Kathy McIntire, Coa ch Da n Joh n son , t he Community Chest, Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen, the Liberty Union Interact Club and Mike LeMay.
The Empty Bowls Project is actually an international movement that began in the early 1990s and has since raised millions of dollars in donations to help hungry people. Several Michigan schoolteachers whose students wanted to raise money to help the local hungry founded the project. They decided on a fundraiser dinner of simple soup and bread served on dishes students made in art class.
“It was wonderful support from the community,” said Dunlap regarding this year’s Empty Bowls event. “We’ll be back next year.”