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14th Annual Empty Bowls/Caring Hearts


THUNDER BAY, ON  -----   October  9, 2013   ---  Sunday, October 20th, 2013 will mark the 14th Annual Empty Bowls/Caring Hearts Dinner 14th Annual Empty Bowls/Caring HeartsEvent in Thunder Bay.  The doors to the Moose Hall on Fort William Road open at 4:45pm and with 350 guests expected, the hall will be flooded with attendees eagerly anticipating a night of sharing, caring, fellowship and hope.  All proceeds from the event go to support the efforts of Shelter House and The Thunder Bay Food Bank.  In Thunder Bay alone the Empty Bowls mission has raised a near $200,000 to help feed hungry and impoverished individuals in our community.

The origin of the Empty Bowls event dates back to 1990 when a high school art teacher in Michigan helped his students address a challenge. They were searching for a way to raise funds to support a local food drive. What evolved was the idea of a class project to make ceramic bowls for a fundraiser dinner. Since then, many variations of the original Empty Bowls event have taken flight annually in North America and around the world.  To date millions of dollars have been raised toward the common goal of combating hunger.

The first Empty Bowls dinner event in Thunder Bay was held in 2000, which was spearheaded with the combined efforts of well known Thunder Bay potters, Alan Moon and Fritz Lehmberg together with Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship member, Pyteke Blaauw. This successful annual dinner event has grown over the years and has evolved to include information displays by partner organizations, a silent celebrity bowls auction, a raffle featuring a beautiful handmade quilt created by local quilter, Nelly Reedhead, as well as, live entertainment provided by the Good News Jazz Band.
The dinner menu is homemade fare, prepared and donated by local chefs, restaurants and bakeries.  It is a simple meal of soup, bread, and dessert, a symbolic gesture of a “poverty meal” representing the focus and inspiration for the event. It is hoped that the evening will raise awareness and cultivate an attitude that will extinguish poverty and hunger.

Food scarcity means not just a scarcity of sustenance and nourishment, but a scarcity of the life affirming joys that good food provides. The dinner and meal is a reminder to guests to never take food for granted, but to celebrate and share the gifts we have with one another.

With the purchase of a $30.00 dinner ticket and a donation of a canned food item, attendees are able to select a pottery bowl, handcrafted by local potters of the Thunder Bay Potters’ Guild, or a pair of placemats handmade by local community quilters.  With a keepsake from the night’s event in tow, it will serve as a lasting reminder about the poverty and hunger individuals face daily, inspiring guests to direct their efforts to help fill the empty bowls in our community and around the world.
Empty Bowls/Caring Hearts dinner tickets are available for purchase at Fireweed, Eat Local Pizza and Pastry, George’s Market, and the Moose Hall.

For those who wish to enjoy the dinner only, a $15.00 donation is payable at the door.  Dinner for children ages 12 and under is $5.00, payable at the door.

For more information please visit 

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