The annual empty bowls event drew in a large crowd to the Cox Building on Saturday.
During the event, community members could purchase a ticket for $20. The ticket allowed them to choose a handmade bowl, crafted by local artists, and enjoy a meal provided by local restaurants.
Three local friends said the visit the event each year to find a bowl and eat.
There were 280 bowls made for the event, created by more than a dozen local artists. The food served at the benefit consisted of a soup, a bread and a dessert, with water served as a beverage.
Three soups were available, including butternut squash soup from M’s Eatery, chili from Delite’s and Cuban black bean soup from Sean Moral; deSha’s provided cornbread, while Sprinkles of Hope and Maysville Community and Technical College’s Institute for Culinary Arts will supply the dessert.
In the hallways, live music was performed by local musicians.
Mason County residents Stefanie Pawsat, Krisit Boggs and Angie Lohman visit the event together ever year to hunt for the perfect bowl and enjoy a meal together.
“We come every year,” Pawsat said. “It’s a great fundraiser. Everything is donated and it’s just for a great cause — it supports the food bank.”
Pawsat said she enjoys the uniqueness of each bowl.
“The one I chose is unique and pretty,” she said. “I use my bowls. The past bowls I’ve purchased, I’ll put out for dips and other items.”
Boggs said she enjoyed being able to give back to the community.
“Like she said, we come down every year,” she said. “It’s just a nice day for me to get out with my girlfriends and give back to the community a little bit.”
Lohman said she attends the event because it benefits a good cause.
“We love the cause. We started coming because it supports the food bank and it’s such an important thing,” she said. “And, it’s so hard to pick a bowl. They’re all so interesting and different — it’s just kind of whatever catches your eye.
Rebecca Cartmell, director of the Mason County Food Bank, said she is thankful for the event, because it helps to provide food to families in need.
“We’re ecstatic about the great turnout today,” she said. “We appreciate everyone’s support, because this will help a lot of hungry families. It’s certainly a group effort — thanks to the people who sponsored this, and the potters, the Ohio River Valley Artists Guild. We’re just thrilled with the turnout.”
According to Cartmell, about 300 families per month are served, which includes about 500 to 600 individuals just in Mason County.
“This is a critical time of year for us, because we do holiday boxes,” she said. “On Saturday, Nov. 23 from noon to 2 p.m., we will be giving out the Thanksgiving boxes. On Saturday, Dec. 21 from noon to 2 p.m., the Christmas boxes will be going out. So, this will help us pack the boxes and give out good things for our families.”
Stefanie Pawsat, Krisit Boggs and Angie Lohman look for a bowl during the Empty Bowl event at the Cox Building on Saturday.