When a community gathers together in support of a good cause, the outcome can be downright impressive.
That’s certainly the case when it comes to Empty Bowls, one of Enumclaw’s annual efforts to help feed the hungry.
For the better part of a decade, volunteers have joined forces, first to support the local food bank and, now, to raise money for Plateau Outreach Ministries. POM, in turn, uses Empty Bowls proceeds to deliver much-needed food and other life necessities to those in need.
This year’s event, which filled the Enumclaw High School commons the evening of Feb. 28, was a record-breaking success. Meghan Iunker, a driving force behind Empty Bowls, reported that this year’s effort raised a bit more than $6,400. That’s $2,000 more than was taken in a year ago.
Such an undertaking is powered by volunteer time and effort. And here’s how it all came together.
First, Empty Bowls involves, well, bowls. Each paying guest takes home a hand-crafted creation and perhaps 350 of this year’s bowls were made by students at Green River College (with donated clay). The rest come from local artists like Nathalie Weyer and Kamielle Shaffer.
Attendees are served a soup supper, so soup is a necessity. Contributing were local restaurants Griffin and Wells, The Kettle and The Lee, along with the Enumclaw School District, Enumclaw Health and Rehabilitation Center and the Cornerstone Café at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
Where there’s soup there should be rolls and The Mint delivered on that count. Cookies were for dessert and came from High Point Village, Cascade Place and Prestige Senior living/Expressions. And a bottle of water topped off each meal, courtesy of QFC.
Also rallying to the cause were Ramien Diesel (napkins and help with printing costs); Mutual of Enumclaw (printing supplies and then the actual printing); Julie Iunker with Cabot Lodge Securities, who donated raffle tickets to each person who shared the event on Facebook and paid for the banner application; and the Enumclaw Expo Center, which donated draperies and rods used during Empty Bowls.
A variety of local churches helped with the effort. For example, members of the Trinity Lutheran youth group were found with ladles in hand, dispensing soup.
Volunteer time and donated goods is essential, but money helps greatly. That’s where Parker Hannifin Corporation came in, contributing $1,000 to help make Empty Bowls, once again, a success.