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On March 23, Virginia Wesleyan University will once again host the Empty Bowls Charity Dinner. In its 20th year, the Ceramic Designers Association event will get underway in Boyd Dining Center at 5:30 p.m. Guests will receive a handmade bowl and enjoy freshly prepared soups, bread and dessert—but more importantly, they’ll help alleviate hunger in our community.

The Empty Bowls project is an international grassroots movement held annually in many communities to help raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. The first local Empty Bowls Charity Dinner took place in 1998 at Holy Family Catholic Church. It moved to Virginia Wesleyan the following year, thanks to the efforts of Virginia Wesleyan alumna Susan Alexander Mizell '80.

In addition to providing the venue, Virginia Wesleyan also arranges for event volunteers and participation from the University community. Professor of Art Phil Guilfoyle and his ceramics students have donated their handmade bowls to the event, and Guilfoyle has provided potter wheel demonstrations. Sodexo, Virginia Wesleyan’s food service provider,  generously provides the soups served at the event.

All funds raised benefit local charities such as the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Judeo-Christian Outreach Center, Help and Emergency Response Shelter, Oasis Social Ministries, and Union Mission. In the last five years alone, the event has raised over $110,000 for hunger-relief efforts in our community.

“In keeping with the University’s Methodist heritage and our commitment to service learning, Virginia Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to become active and engaged citizens,” said VWU President Scott D. Miller. “This event speaks to the University’s goal of educating through meaningful service and brings our campus and community together in partnership to share resources and meet real community needs.”
Tickets for the Empty Bowls Charity Dinner are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Learn more by visiting the Ceramic Designers Association website at: