For over a decade, United Way of the Greenbrier Valley has been hosting an Empty Bowls fundraiser in Greenbrier County.
The event features bowls created by local potters and soup from local restaurants. Each bowl is a unique creation from the artist. Proceeds from the event go to local food pantries to help keep people fed.
The event is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the WVSOM Student Center Conference Center Room. Tickets are $30 if purchased early or $35 at the door.
According to one of United Way’s Campaign Chairs, Paula Thomas, the fundraiser will have around 290 bowls, and they hope to sell out.
Thomas said, “It would be really nice to have a sellout.”
The artists contributing bowls for the event spent have been hard at work creating their bowls. Many spent the past weekend completing their projects. According to Thomas, some of the artists have in-home studios where they design their bowls. Others were finishing up their creations at Carnegie Hall on Monday, Oct. 17.
Participating artists are Alison Pottery of Marlinton, Jeff Diehl of Meadow Bridge, Diana Hunt of Ronceverte, Libby Johnson of Lewisburg, Kellen Leaf of Lewisburg, Sean O’Connell of Carnegie Hall, Heather Rose of Lewisburg, Kelsie Tyson of White Sulphur Springs, and Tracey Boehinger Walker of Hillsboro.
Nathan Seldomridge will be providing music for the event.
Thomas said she wishes to thank all of the artists, restaurants, and Carnegie Hall and their education director Harmony Flora for helping with this event.
Multiple restaurants are contributing to a varied menu of scrumptious soups. The French Goat is making Chef Jared’s World Famous Chili; 50 East is bringing Stuffed Green Pepper Soup; The Humble Tomato is providing Tomato Basil Soup; Amy’s Market will have Chicken Enchilada Soup. In addition, The Livery Tavern is bringing Vegetable Beef Soup; The Asylum is providing Thai Curry Shrimp Soup; The Greenbrier is making New England Clam Chowder. The Greenbrier East High School Pro Start Program is cooking up Cream of Potato with Bacon Soup, Cream of Onion Soup and Southwest Black Bean Soup.
Thomas said one of the fundraiser’s goals is to bring awareness to all of those who go without food.
She spoke about the need to raise awareness “that there are people around you and people in the community who are struggling, who do have trouble. There are kids who go home hungry.”
Additionally, Thomas noted the local community members who come together and work to put a stop to hunger.
This year is the first time United Way has been able to hold this event in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were able to conduct the fundraiser last year, but it was takeout only.
Thomas said, “We’re excited” to be able to hold the traditional version of the event. She also noted that they are hoping for a fantastic turnout.
While various fundraisers are held every year, in many regards, the Empty Bowls event is one of a kind.
Thomas spoke about why she feels Empty Bowls is special.
“Well, I feel like it’s because of the fact, I think we live in a world where we don’t think that there are people hungry around us like you drive around Lewisburg, and you never think, ‘oh gosh, that lady in that apartment up there might not have enough money for food.’ I feel like we live in a world today where we have almost everything. Why are people still hungry? There are issues with kids who go to bed hungry. Why are we doing this when we have everything else? It seems to be [a problem] that would be easily fixed,” she said.
In addition to the bowls and soup, several downtown businesses have donated baskets of items. According to Thomas, all the baskets are soup and food related.
For more information on the United Way Empty Bowls 2022 event, visit unitedwaygreenbrier.org of empty-bowls-2022.
|Potter Kelsie Tyson of White Sulphur Springs works on her bowls at the Carnegie Hall pottery studio on Monday, Oct. 17.|
|Tyson at the wheel.|
|Potter Kellen Leef of Lewisburg with some of her wares.|