By: Kristen Ware | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2016
Jason Glass (left) and Brian Hughes display handcrafted bowls, which were created to represent the hunger in northeastern Oklahoma and will be available at the Food Bank’s Empty Bowls event. Glass and Hughes are chairing the 2016 event.
To combat hunger in eastern Oklahoma, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is hosting the 20th annual Empty Bowls Hunger Awareness Dinner and Auction, set for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26 at the Cox Business Center. Through the fundraiser, the Food Bank hopes to raise two million meals to feed those in need in eastern Oklahoma.
With the aim of filling many Oklahoma bowls, this year’s Empty Bowls event, presented by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, will support the programs and projects of the Food Bank throughout the year. Approximately 654,000 Oklahomans, including one in four children, often don’t know where they will get their next meal.
The event, which is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Food Bank, gives guests the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind works of art by some of the area’s most talented artists, autographed memorabilia, gift cards, gift baskets, high-end merchandise, and experience packages. The event includes a soup and salad dinner and guests receive a keepsake bowl, which serves as a reminder of the too many empty bowls of hungry Oklahomans.
The event will also include a raffle, restaurant pull, and a wine pull.
Tulsans that aren’t able to attend the event can still help feed hungry Oklahomans. Anyone can purchase raffle tickets for the Pick Your Paradise raffle. Tickets are $25 or five for $100, and the winner gets to choose one vacation package, selecting from New York City, Hilton Head, San Francisco or Santa Barbara. Tickets are available at www.okfoodbank.org and while a winner will be drawn at Empty Bowls, the winner does not need to be present to win. Additionally, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Empty Bowls, the board and staff at the Food Bank request that community members consider a one-time gift of $20. Donations can be made on the website.
For each dollar raised at Empty Bowls, the Food Bank can distribute four meals. With administrative costs below four percent of the organization’s budget, every dollar donated impacts someone in need in eastern Oklahoma. With the Food Bank recently recognized by Charity Navigator as one of their 10 top-notch charities in the nation, donors can rest assured the Food Bank will provide a good return on investment.
Empty Bowls tickets start at $75 and sponsorships are available. Honorary Chairs Elliot and Meg Nelson join event co-chairs Jason Glass and Brian Hughes in presenting this event to the community.
“Empty Bowls is a fun event for the community kick back and relax while also providing much-needed funds to support our efforts to feed eastern Oklahoma,” said Eileen Bradshaw, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “This event is crucial in supporting all of our programs, from the Food for Kids program to our produce initiatives – reaching across Green Country and beyond.”
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