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‘Empty Bowls Luncheon’ Friday at Bush Memorial

Community members, students and local celebrities crafted bowls for this year's luncheon.

Community members, students and local celebrities crafted bowls for this year’s luncheon.

The soup’s on and the bowls are ready and waiting to be filled.

The Pike County Salvation Army’s annual Empty Bowls Luncheon is set for Friday at Bush Memorial Baptist Church in Troy with more than 100 handmade bowls on the table.

Kim May, director of the local Salvation Army Service Center, said this year’s Empty Bowls Luncheon is shaping up to be the biggest ever and the need is, perhaps, the greatest ever.

“Last year, we serviced 500 families through our food pantry and, this year, that number will probably double,” May said. “The Empty Bowls Luncheon fundraiser goes a long way in restocking our food pantry and feeding the hungry in Pike County.”

The Empty Bowls Luncheon will be from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Bush Memorial Baptist Church Family Life Center on George Wallace Drive in Troy.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $20 and include the luncheon that features nine soups with all the trimmings.

“Of course, with each $20 ticket you get to choose a handmade pottery bowl to take home,” May said. “The bowls were made by participants in the prestigious Alabama Clay Conference, Troy University art professors and students, participants at the Colley Senior Complex and Pike County High School art students.”

May said the early birds to the luncheon will have greater choices in their bowl selection but there will be an outstanding selection from beginning to end.

“Our silent auction will feature the celebrity bowls and those bowls always generate a lot of interest and the bidding is very competitive,” May said. “The celebrities this year include Mayor Jason Reeves and professional artists Larry Percy, Walter Black, Larry Godwin and Mary Ann Casey and the late Dr. Robert Paxson and Ed Walter.”

Several local athletes made bowls for the Salvation Army fundraiser, including retired Major League Baseball pitcher, Brian Meadows and Troy University football players, Cory Robinson, Rashaad Harper, Brandon Timmons and Waylon Coleman-Dancer. The featured storytellers at the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival in January, Donald Davis, Sheila Kay Adams, Michael Reno Harrell and Andy Offutt Irwin, also have bowls up for auction.

“The Empty Bowls Luncheon has some very unique bowls and we really appreciate the efforts that went into the making of the bowls,” May said. “Because of the support of these many people, we have the most ‘Empty Bowls’ that we have had.”

May also expressed appreciation to the volunteers who make the soup to fill the bowls.

“We’ll have nine different choices on the Empty Bowls lunch line including potato, cream of cauliflower, bean, broccoli and cheese, tortilla and chicken and vegetable soups and chili and camp stew,” May said.

The menu will include Sister Schubert rolls and, for dessert, there will be bread pudding, pound cake and cupcakes. The beverages will be coffee, tea or water.

“You don’t have to get just one soup. You can sample as many as you like,” May said. “And you can go back for more. We just want everyone to come and enjoy the food and the fellowship and choose a beautiful handmade bowl to take home. And, of course, we invite everyone to participate in the silent auction.”

May said all proceeds from the Empty Bowls Luncheon will be used to restock the Pike County Salvation Army food pantry and help feed the hungry in Pike County.