Empty Bowls fundraiser warms both body and spirit


By Cindy Beamon

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A hot bowl of soup on a cold day can warm one's body and spirit.

In the case of Empty Bowls, it's also a way to help fight hunger and poverty in the 15-county region.

The 4th annual event on March 15 to benefit Food Bank of the Albemarle will offer contributors a chance to sample soups from different restaurants and bring home a unique piece of art -- all while helping feed people in need.

I joined the fun for the first time last year. For the purchase of two tickets ($20 each if paid in advance/$25 at the door), we had the chance to taste some soup, take home a couple of custom-made bowls, and leave with the satisfaction that we had helped raise money for a good cause.

The luncheon takes place at Arts of the Albemarle at 516 E. Main Street in downtown Elizabeth City, just about a block from Mariners' Wharf Park. The event is on Wednesday, March 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ticket-holders can dine in or carry out. To buy tickets, call 335-4035, go online to www.afoodbank.org or visit Arts of the Albemarle, Food Bank of the Albemarle and The Hugh Cale Community Resource Center.

Supporters can also join in the Preview Party and Silent Auction on Tuesday, March 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Guests will be treated to music by The Bobby Plough/Adam Nixon Duo, along with heavy hors d'oeuvres and cash bar for a big social event. Tickets are $40, which includes the luncheon the next day.

The trip to Arts of the Albemarle is a treat in itself. The galleries inside display paintings, crafts and jewelry made by local artists. For the Empty Bowls event, tables are set up to spotlight pottery bowls of every shape and color. Local artists and high school art students are donating their creativity and time to craft about 600 bowls for the event this year.

The two bowls I selected last year were made at a potter's wheel. They were glossy on the inside and out with swirls of earth-tone colors. The bowls have found a permanent place in my home on a game table. Each contains some colorful beads that we use for playing Pente.

After selecting the bowls, I went to a station where the bowls are wrapped up, and then headed to the soup station. Ticket-holders are offered a choice of selections made by local restuarants. I selected a shrimp bisque -- a great choice.

Tables were set up, so that diners could eat there. I walked back to work just a block away to enjoy soup, homemade rolls and a dessert a little later.

The event brings together a variety of people and businesses in the community to create a fun event that raises money for a good cause. This year, Food Bank of the Albemarle hopes to raise $20,700 from the Empty Bowls fundraiser -- enough to provide nearly 83,000 meals to families in need.

With all those benefits, Empty Bowls is a wonderful way to warm not only the body but also the soul.

Cindy Beamon is editor for the Albemarle Life section of The Daily Advance. Contact her at cbeamon@dailyadvance.com