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Empty Bowls raises $10,400

By Jeff Eason (

Article Published: Apr. 24 | Modified: Apr. 24
Empty Bowls raises $10,400

Watauga High School students and art teachers pose with a check for $10,400 to be presented to the Hunger and Health Coalition.

Photo submitted

Watauga High School’s Empty Bowls dinner in late March seemed more like a party than a fundraiser.
There was bluegrass music, a performance by the cast of “The Sound of Music,” visual art exhibits and, of course, great food.

As a party, it was a resounding success. As a fundraiser, it was even more of a success.

The 13th annual Empty Bowls dinner raised $10,400 for the Hunger and Health Coalition, marking the first time the event raked in a five-figure total.

The money came from selling more than 500 handmade ceramic bowls, a silent auction and other donations.

Students and teachers involved with the fundraiser presented a check to the Hunger and Health Coalition last Thursday.

“Empty Bowls couldn’t and wouldn’t happen without the excellent student leadership and the many eager student volunteers who sign-up, show up and ask, ‘What can I do to help this year,’” said Whit Whitaker, a WHS ceramics instructor who has been involved with Empty Bowls since its first year at the school. They were everywhere in numbers this year eager to be part of this fun and meaningful event.”

According to Whitaker, Empty Bowls raised $1,100 in its inaugural year at WHS in 2002.

“In 2013, we raised $8,800, and we were thrilled,” Whitaker said. “This year, we’ve raised over $10,000, and we’re astounded as the journey continues.”

Bill Hartley, WHS resource officer, added, “It is always a true blessing and joy to see how many kids volunteer to help with Empty Bowls. They don’t just volunteer, they work seriously and tirelessly. I was actually working with some of the student volunteers that didn’t even get to eat; that’s how busy and diligent they were.

“I am also amazed at the quantity and quality of local business donations, from food to artwork, to local crafts and other items.”

This year’s Empty Bowls dinner utilized the talents of approximately 75 student volunteers on the day of the event. Local restaurants donated approximately 40 gallons of soup for the event, as well as donating their time and labor preparing, transporting and serving the soup.

“Watauga High School’s Empty Bowls has become the success it is today in large part because of the faithful commitment of so many dedicated contributors and participants,” Whitaker said. “These include both our loyal businesses and artisans, as well as community ticket holders who return every year bringing their neighbors and soon to be future loyal participants to Empty Bowls.”

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