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Celebrity bowling

When Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley accepted the invitation to visit Troy on Wednesday, she didn’t realize that her visit would be to the “Home of Trojan Mud.”

Alabama’s First Lady was one of several celebrities who were invited to design bowls for the Pike County Salvation Army’s Third Annual Empty Bowl Luncheon that will be held Feb. 24 at the fellowship hall of Bush Memorial Baptist Church in Troy.

The Empty Bowls Luncheon is a fundraiser designed to feed the hungry through the Center’s food panty.

Joining Bentley in Larry Percy’s “mud room” at Troy University were University First Lady Janice Hawkins, Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford, Coach Larry Blakeney, Janice Blakeney, Dr. Maryjo Cochran, dean of the Troy University College of Communication and Fine Arts, and Heather Hannah, Bentley’s assistant.

Bowls had been made and fired by Percy’s students and the “celebrities” chose bowls to decorate.

“The bowls have been bisque fired and are ready to be decorated and you may decorate them in any way you choose,” Percy told the celebrity designers and challenged them to use their creativity. “Creativity is the highest order of thinking. It’s at the top of the pyramid.”

Alabama’s First Lady, laughingly, said she left the creative aspect of the venture to her granddaughters.

“I let them design the bowl for me,” she said. “I have the picture text on my cell phone and I’ll go by it. I quilt, but I’ve never designed a bowl.”

Bentley worked diligently to duplicate the design her granddaughters, ages 12 and 14, had created for her.

“They thought I would be able to use tape, but I wasn’t,” Bentley said. “So, the lines are a little squiggly because I couldn’t keep my hand steady. The design was simple but I don’t think decorating bowls is my thing. Fabric is more forgiving.”

Bentley said she was honored to be invited to be a part of the Empty Bowls project and to support the Salvation Army’s efforts to feed the hungry.

Kim May, director of the Pike County Salvation Army Service Center, expressed appreciation to Bentley and the other celebrities who so willingly gave of their time and talents.

“The bowls that were decorated by our celebrities will be auctioned at the Empty Bowl Luncheon and should raise a lot of money to feed the hungry and there are many people in our area who are hungry due to various circumstances,” May said.

“The needs are great and the food pantry is a place where those needs are met. The Empty Bowl Luncheon goes a long way in stocking our food pantry.”

May said clay bowls are donated to the Empty Bowls Luncheon from the Troy University art department, the Colley Senior Complex and the Alabama Clay Conference.

Tickets for the luncheon are $20 each.

Those who attend get to pick out a bowl to take home and enjoy the soup lunch with friends and neighbors.

Tickets are available at the Salvation Army Service Center and Thrift Store on South Brundidge Street or by calling 334-808-1069.