Laura Dean Bennett
An Empty Bowls dinner was held at the Pocahontas County Opera House last Wednesday evening where tables were strewn with festive fall décor and well-known local musicians Richard Hefner and Joanna Burt-Kinderman entertained with sprightly Appalachian music.
The Empty Bowls dinner is made possible by a collaboration between the Family Resource Network, Pocahontas County Arts Council, Pocahontas County High School art students and many volunteers from around the community.
Guests chose from a wide selection of beautiful bowls created by the art students in partnership with members of the Arts Council.
And then, they chose again – from 22 delicious homemade soups provided by members of the community and the ProStart class at PCHS.
The meal included breads and tempting desserts and, of course, fresh apple cider.
The purpose of this event is to raise money for the FRN Food Pantry. It began three years ago, spearheaded by Cynthia Gurreri, president of the Pocahontas County Arts Council.
“The Empty Bowls dinner concept is really a national fundraising idea that has caught on around the country,” Gurerri said. “I’m thrilled that it’s been such a natural fit for our community.”
The dinner provided a wonderful community get-together, a hearty meal on a chilly night, and raised more than $4,000 – a record amount for this event.
The accompanying silent auction added to the evening’s fun and brought in an additional $1,700.
FRN project coordinator Becky Campbell said many people pitched in this year to make the dinner a success.
“I’m so grateful for everyone’s help,” Campbell said. “The Empty Bowls dinner keeps growing and that’s wonderful because the need keeps growing.”
FRN Director Laura Young agreed.
“It is great to see our community pulling together to benefit those among us who are in need,” she said.