Empty Bowls raises $5K

Published 10:56 pm Friday, February 24, 2012

The Salvation Army will be able to serve about 250 people through the success of the Empty Bowl luncheon this year in Troy.

People who attended the third-annual event at Bush Memorial Baptist Church on Friday spent $20 to enjoy warm soups prepared by area residents and businesses and to pick out and keep a handmade bowl.

More than 130 bowls crafted by professional potters, student artists and volunteer non-professionals were available to choose from during the Empty Bowl luncheon.

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“This will be our best year,” said Salvation Army Pike County Service Center Director Kimberly May. “We have to have donations to support the food bank. We give out food every day. There are so many more hungry people than you may realize.”

The luncheon was designed so that everything – bowls, soup, desserts and the dining facility – were donated. That way 100 percent of the money raised goes straight into the Salvation Army food bank in Pike County.

Some local celebrities, including university officials and Alabama’s First Lady, designed and made bowls for an auction during the luncheon.

Former Trojan and current New York Giant Jerrel Jernigan’s bowl received the highest bid at $500. Carrie Manning said she saw the bowl she chose to take home as soon as she walked in the door to the luncheon.

“It was just meant to be mine. I love it,” Manning said, adding that she came to the luncheon to support the Salvation Army. “I am here because I know it is a good cause and I wanted to be a part of that.”

In total, May said the event raised about $5,000.

“That is great,” May said. “I had hoped for about $3,000 and we far exceeded that.”

May said she estimated the Salvation Army regularly donates food worth $20 per each person that comes in the food bank. That translates to about 250 people or visits.