Empty Bowls and Baskets to benefit The Friendship Table

Pitt-Bradford will hold its ninth Empty Bowls and Baskets Dinner of homemade soup and bread to raise awareness of the fight against hunger and to raise money for The Friendship Table.

The dinner will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 20, in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons. Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door. Diners are invited to take home a handcrafted ceramic bowl, a basket, or hand-sewn cloth napkin sets as a reminder that someone else’s bowl might be empty.

Diners will also have the opportunity to bid on two pair of tickets for the Prism Series performance Supreme Reflections: The Ultimate Tribute to the Music of Diana Ross and the Supremes, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. the same evening in Blaisdell Hall. Proceeds from the auction will also benefit The Friendship Table.

According to Dr. Holly J. Spittler, associate dean of student affairs and director of career services, and chairwoman of the event, “The premise behind the dinner is to offer a simple meal of homemade soups and breads and a place at the table for all as a way to increase our awareness of the fight against hunger. In the past eight years, this popular Women’s History Month event has raised more than $11,000 for the Friendship Table.

“We would not have been able to do this without the help of our students, faculty and staff, and the many community volunteers who make soup, cookies, or donate items,” she said. “They are all dedicated to making sure no one in our community goes hungry.”

The event is a community-wide effort. Pitt-Bradford students, faculty and staff, wove baskets or painted ceramic bowls.  The American Association of University Women spent a Saturday morning sewing the napkin sets. Bradford Area High School students created ceramic bowls. Third grade students from School Street Elementary and St. Bernard schools, as well as third and fourth graders from The Learning Center and the Bradford Area Christian Academy, decorated placemats as part of a lesson about hunger. Campus and community volunteers made the soups and cookies.

The Empty Bowls Dinner was initiated in 1990 when a Michigan high school art teacher and his students sponsored the first dinner served in handmade bowls to benefit the cause. By the following year, the originators had developed the concept into Empty Bowls, a project to provide support for food banks, soup kitchens and other organizations that fight hunger. Since then, Empty Bowls events have been held throughout the world, and millions of dollars have been raised to combat hunger. For more information on the originators of the event, visit www.emptybowls.net.

The Empty Bowls and Baskets steering committee would like to thank the American Association of University Women, Kelley Baker-Ewert, Bradford Area High School Ceramics students and Scott Mealy, Diana’s Ceramic Heaven, Cattaraugus County Arts Council, Metz and Associates, Miss Maggies, Anne Mormile, Pitt-Bradford’s Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, Center for Leadership and Service, Conference Services, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Division of Communication and the Arts, Division of Management and Education, Division of Physical and Computational Sciences, Staff Association, Student Affairs, Tops Friendly Markets, Wal-Mart, and the Women’s History Celebration committee.

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