Empty Bowls celebrates $1 million raised over 18-year history

The community-wide fundraiser brings in critical dollars each year to support ResourceWest and the ICA Food Shelf.
March 18, 2016

It was a record year for Hopkins Public Schools’ Empty Bowls fundraiser, as cumulative donations have officially exceeded $1 million since the event began 18 years ago. The 2016 event raked in $74,627, and counting. Since its inception, the event has been an important part of sustaining two local organizations, ResourceWest and the ICA Food Shelf.

“It shows the commitment of our neighbors to helping other neighbors,” said Peg Keenan, director of the ICA Food Shelf. “As a community we are going to walk alongside our neighbors to support them during difficult times.”

The all-day event took place March 15 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts and showcased the talents of local potters, students, and staff with over 1,200 donated, handcrafted ceramic bowls. Event-goers picked out a specially created bowl, filled up on soup and bread donated by local vendors, and took in entertainment from local performers.

Much of this year’s donation total is credited to longtime sponsor SUPERVALU, who once again promoted the “Challenge to the Community Fund” donation drive. Through this initiative, more than 178 leaders from the community, local businesses, congregations, city, and school raised $61,328.

“I’m proud of the evolution of Empty Bowls over these first 18 years,” said Barb Westmoreland, Empty Bowls event coordinator. “Hundreds of amazing people step up to make sure that no one’s bowl is empty in our community.”

Event chair Steve Adams, who is also a Hopkins School Board member, praised the work of all those involved in making the event a success and said he is excited to be part of the event for years to come.

“When I think about Empty Bowls 2016, I am just so grateful,” added Tarrah Palm, executive director of ResourceWest. “Grateful for the local sponsorship, the volunteers, the fun day, the Empty Bowls leadership, artists and musicians, this community, for Hopkins Public Schools, and the donations toward meeting the needs of this community. I’m grateful that ICA Food Shelf and ResourceWest can stand together as we bring greater stability to individuals and families.”

Our Recipe to fill Empty Bowls in our Community:

• 1,215 bowls created by our students, staff, and community potters

• 34 Hopkins art, music, and elementary teachers

• 253 volunteers and 326 entertainers of all ages

• 75 artist bowls & fine art for the silent auction

• 1,509 servings of soup and bread

• 42 sponsors of in-kind services