2016 Empty Bowls Naples Celebrates 10 Years

Tags: Empty Bowls Naples, Collier County, Events

Supporting the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida!

What is Empty Bowls Naples?

Empty Bowls Naples is a fundraiser for the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida being held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, January 23, 2016 at Cambier Park in downtown Naples. Attendees will find about 2,000 handcrafted ceramic bowls created throughout the year by local artists, educators, students and volunteers, all displayed in a rainbow of color and design. For a suggested $15 donation, guests keep a hand-made pottery bowl to serve as a reminder of all the “empty bowls” in the world. The bowl can then be used to sample a smorgasbord of soups prepared by area chefs and restaurants.

How did it start?

Empty Bowls Naples is part of an international effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. The mission is to create positive and lasting change through the arts, education, and projects that build community. The local event was started by Donna Torrance, a pottery teacher at Barron Collier High School.

Who provides the soup?

This year, about 45 different soups will be offered, ranging from gourmet to stick-to-the ribs comfort. Bleu Provence will offer Leek and Potatoes (poireau pommes de terre); Daniela’s will offer Hungarian Goulash; The Dock at Crayton Cove will offer Loaded Baked Potato soup; and Wilderness Country Club will offer Tomato Basil and Roasted Fennel.

What else happens during Empty Bowls Naples?

The event also features a silent auction, pottery demonstrations, live music, and the opportunity to paint bowls.

Why volunteer?

Empty Bowls Naples Chair Betsy Dawson says, “Volunteering for Empty Bowls and providing food to families is important to me because as my father always said, ‘To live in a community we must give back to that community.’ Growing up in a small farming town, all families realized the importance of community and relying on our neighbors. When I first moved here, while involved in the Naples Junior Women's Club, we collected rice and beans for the children at Avalon Elementary School. This continued as I worked with other church and school groups to help collect food. My involvement with Empty Bowls developed through the work of Donna Torrance, who was an art instructor for all three of my children at Barron Collier High School. With my art and design background, this was an easy and fulfilling transition into community volunteer work. I lead over 500 volunteers throughout the year and on event day -- without these volunteers who create the bowls, the event couldn’t be a success.”

How Much Does It Cost?

Guests donate a suggested $15 the day of the event. For a $50 contribution you can also become a “Friend of Empty Bowls.” You receive special admittance to the event, your choice of a handcrafted ceramic bowl from an exclusive “Friends” table, a commemorative miniature bowl, name recognition and invitations to all Empty Bowls workshops. The money helps cover the expense of making, painting and firing the bowls, as well as supporting local artists who give of their time, talent and facilities.

How much is raised during Empty Bowls Naples?

In the past nine years, more than $250,000 has been raised at Empty Bowls Naples events. This has enabled the Harry Chapin Food Bank to distribute $1.5 million worth of food to our 27 Collier County Partner Agencies directly helping our neighbors in need.  Funds are raised through donations, auction item sales and generous Sponsors. 

There is still time to become a Sponsor. For more information, please call Karole Davis at 239-334-7007 ext. 200 or email her at karoledavis@HarryChapinFoodBank.org.

For more information about the event and to see more photos, please visit www.EmptyBowlsNaples.org 

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