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Empty Bowls fills mouths for hungry (Video)

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Feb. 12, 2012 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 12, 2012 at 8:13 p.m.

An attendee of the Empty Bowls fundraiser takes a bowl of soup that a volunteer had just ladled out for her Sunday at Victoria College. The fundraiser aims to fight hunger within the community by supporting charities such as The Food Bank of the Golden Crescent, Christ's Kitchen and others.

In an effort to fill the mouths of hungry Crossroads families, Debra Chronister and Sherri Pall attempted to fill 500 handcrafted ceramic bowls with gourmet soup.

At the 8th annual Victoria Empty Bowls Project on Sunday, Chronister and Pall - who served as co-chairs of the event - collected 500 handcrafted bowls from ceramics students, former students and area potters, then charged the public $15 to fill it with soup.

On two long tables in the lobby of the Victoria College Student Center, attendees of the event browsed the endless rows of colorful ceramic bowls, before moving to the cafeteria to browse 14 varieties of piping hot soups. A drink and roll were also included in the meal.

"I'm having the sausage, cheese and beer soup," Chronister said, spooning a taste from a small, blue ceramic bowl. "I'm not supposed to have cheese, but this is so delicious."

Some of the soups featured at the event were The Grapevine Cafe's beef taco, Halepaska's Bakery tortilla soup, Olive Garden's minestrone and Soupa Toscana, Chick-fil-A's chicken noodle, and roasted sweet potato jalepeno from Huvar's Artisan Market.

In addition to the soup and bowl purchase, Pall said the event raised money through a silent auction, featuring items such as an autographed porcelain bowl set from "Eat. Pray. Love" writer, Elizabeth Gilbert, and an autographed pottery set from TLC's Kevin Roberts, host of "BBQ Pitmasters."

"We usually average about $2,500 at the silent auction," Pall said.

For the bowls that couldn't make it to the display and sale tables, Empty Bowls attendees could buy the scraps for $1, and break the bowls against a wall.

Monies collected from the fundraiser each year are donated to Christ's Kitchen, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent, Victoria Christian Assistance Ministry, Victoria County Senior Citizens Center, and Victoria Empty Bowls Arts Scholarship.

"The soup is great, but it's a great cause," Empty Bowls attendee Debbie Bailey said, sipping from her bowl of tomato bisque.

Bailey said she too, is a potter, and in past years donated ceramic art to the fundraiser.

About $10,000 were collected from Sunday's event. To date Empty Bowls has collected more than $70,000 for charity, Chronister said.



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