Empty Bowls Fundraiser A Success For Area Food Pantries

Over $10,000 was raised in support of area food pantries thanks to attendees, donors and sponsors of the 2015 Empty Bowls Fundraiser. The event, which was held on December 2, 2015 at the Retlaw Plaza Hotel, brought 571 community members together in support of a great cause. 

Organized by the Leadership Fond du Lac Alumni Group and sponsored by Agnesian HealthCare and Associated Bank, this event brought awareness to hunger in our community and it provided an opportunity for the community to come together to raise money for local food pantries and shelters.  This year, five area food pantries benefited from the generosity of the Empty Bowls Fundraiser, with each receiving a check for $2,046. The following food pantries were assisted: Broken Bread, Fondy Food Pantry, Loaves & Fishes, Salvation Army and St. Vincent DePaul.

The success of this event could not have been possible without the help of area businesses, donors, student artists and Leadership Fond du Lac Alumni – all coming together to give of their time, talents and resources.  Delicious soups were donated by Idlewile Inn, Red Cabin at Green Acres, Retlaw Plaza Hotel, Salty’s Seafood & Spirits, Schrieners, and Trepanier’s Backyard Grill and Bar. With each restaurant donating 20 gallons of soup, event attendees were able to sample various soups, as well as milk, breads and desserts provided by: Aramark, Baker’s Pride Bakery, Bob and Bonnie’s Donuts & Cakes, Festival Foods, Fond du Lac High School, Lake Breeze Dairy Group, Moraine Park Technical College, and North Fond du Lac High School.

A cornerstone of this event is the concept and reality of an empty bowl, which serves as a reminder for those who go hungry every day. To bring awareness to this important social need, area art students crafted more than 400 bowls, which allowed every event attendee to take a bowl, signifying the true purpose of the event.  Participating schools included:  Students at Campbellsport Middle and High School, Fond du Lac Christian School, Fond du Lac High School, Horace Mann High School, Marian University, North Fond du Lac Alternative Learning Center, Laconia High School, Oakfield Middle & High School, St. Mary’s Springs Academy-High School, Theisen Middle School, and Winnebago Lutheran Academy. 

Pictured from left (front row): Marcia Snyder, Empty Bowls committee; Karyn Merkel, Empty Bowls co-chair; Terry Hansen-Beno, Broken Bread; Lynn Jenkins, Fondy Food Pantry; Jack Braun, St. Vincent de Paul Pantry; (back row) John Williams, Empty Bowls chair; Captain Wilson, Salvation Army Pantry; Troy Tautges, Loaves and Fishes.