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Empty Bowls lunch draws hundreds

Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Hundreds of community members turned out Saturday to help support the Wilson County Community Help Center’s food pantry program.

Close to 300 people showed up for the organization’s fourth annual Empty Bowls luncheon at Castle Heights Elementary.

“It went amazing,” said Pam Tate, a member of the help center’s board of directors. “The amount of volunteers and the amount of people that came through it was definitely a great success.”

This year’s event featured a silent auction of 21 items, including the now-traditional metal fire-pit bowl from Rick Wittrig, owner of Lebanon’s Fire Pit Art.

“We [also] had a bluegrass band,” said Tate. “We’ve never had something like that before. Just having the music was a highlight.”

She said people throughout the community make hundreds of handmade bowls each year for the event, and each ticketholder at the event can take one home at no additional charge.

She said several attendees, for some reasons or other, often don’t take their bowls with them when they leave, so the group is left with extras that they sell at the help center.

“All the proceeds from the Empty Bowls goes to our food pantry here,” said Tate.

She said the money raised – more than $10,000 so far this year – supplements donations to the program, which provides emergency food boxes to Wilson County residents in need.

“We work with a lot of the agencies around Wilson County for helping people,” said Tate.

She said she is already collecting a list of people interested in volunteering for next year’s Empty Bowls luncheon.

Anyone interested in signing up to volunteer at next year’s event can email Tate at pat51@bellsouth.net.

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