Empty Bowls Chili Dinner 2018 Feeds The Hungry

Empty Bowls Chili Dinner 2018 Feeds The Hungry

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Empty Bowls Chili Dinner 2018 Feeds The Hungry

Inside the First United Methodist Church’s Hearin Hall patrons filled the room for much of the evening during the 15th annual Empty Bowls of Cullman County Chili Dinner on Monday.

The church played host to an exciting and heartwarming night of fellowship, food, and fun in support of the Cullman Caring For Kids Food Bank. Residents of all ages were in attendance.

Tickets were only $10 for this event which ran from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

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Fabulously warm weather, a President’s Day holiday, and a widely seen promotional campaign for Empty Bowls conspired to draw a large crowd for this annual Cullman fundraiser and community gathering.

Empty Bowls ticket holders each received a bowl of Bobby Nolen gourmet chili along with a mouthwatering grilled cheese sandwich. Bobby takes us on a kitchen tour in this interview:

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Also, each guest received a handcrafted chili bowl made by skilled Cullman area potters. Long lines of attendees cueing up to get into the kitchen serving area was a typical, ongoing sight.

Senior FUMC Paster Todd Henderson provided both the blessing and dedication for Empty Bowls.

There was also A+ start-to-finish entertainment by local performers:

• Shannon Green
• Enell Baker
• The Potentials

The usual Silent Auction portion of the event was absent this year.

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Founder of Empty Bowls in Cullman – Tanya Shearer – received applause from the audience commemorating her 15+ years of service to this event. 2018 is Shearer’s final year of direct participation at the helm of Empty Bowls of Cullman County. She will step aside and focus on less visible aspects of the organization.

While raising money for the Cullman Caring For Kids Food Bank is the focus of this event, Shearer says it has grown into something more:

“The spirit of this night is VERY special. It is a fabulous community event. Everyone has busy lives, and while we may all go to different churches, all of us come together on this night to worship God and lift Him up.”

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All the proceeds from the dinner and silent auction benefited Cullman Caring for Kids. For every one dollar raised at Empty Bowls, approximately seven pounds of food is obtained by the food bank.

The final tally and hard data on attendance and donations are not yet available at the time of this report. However, the total results are expected to be substantial. It is expected that this year’s event will push fundraising revenues for the event’s 15 years history to above the $160,000 mark.

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This fundraiser sustains the mission of Cullman Caring For Kids. It feeds hundreds of Cullman area families and children for weeks into the future. It is the organization’s most significant public fundraising event of the year.

Director Javon Daniel of Cullman Caring for Kids was impressed with the turnout and very pleased with the results:

“So many people volunteer their time, efforts, creativity and resources to make Empty Bowls a success every year. I am very grateful to EVERYONE who has participated in making Empty Bowls such a huge success. THANK YOU!”

Daniel estimates 75 volunteers participated in this year’s event, including Cullman area potters who toil year around making the icon, handmade clay bowls.

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Some of those 75 volunteers included area students from:

★ The Youth Leadership of Cullman County
★ Boy Scout Troop 219 FUMC
★ Good Hope Elementary School
★ West Point Intermediate School

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The list of individual potters who provide the handcrafted bowls is long:

• Patty Abbott
• Sandra Abbott
• Wes Abbott
• Sydney Bagwell
• Patti Bostick
• Linda Duran
• Laael Fiest
• Sandra Heaven
• Lynn Jetton
• Ace Kon
• Louanne Kon
• Kay Leonard
• Talissa Long
• Sister Adrian McLean
• Beth Montgomery
• Vince Nichols
• Jennifer Rodgers
• Barbara Stark
• Bob Stieger
• Barbara Still
• Patti Strickland
• Sue Westerfield
• Jessica Wisener
• Barbara Yost

Adrian Scott and Ramon Daniel from the Wallace State Art Department were also instrumental to the success of this event.

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Empty Bowls Chili Dinner 2018 Feeds The Hungry

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Cullman Caring For Kids at First United Methodist Church

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Empty Bowls Chili Dinner 2018 Feeds The Hungry

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Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com.

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com.