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Empty Bowls Dinner Serves Soup and Smiles while Combating Hunger

By Jayce Kaldunski

Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference Alum and Empty Bowls Intern

The Empty Bowls Committee and additional youth participants pose for a photo in front of the Placerville Shakespeare Club on the day of the event.

From delicious soup to smiling faces, the 24th Annual Placerville Empty Bowls Dinner was a smashing success! Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference has supported this community event since 2019; however, this year marks the first year that a Hands4Hope youth-led Committee has run the event in full, with the support of past event leaders Carla Turoff and Hilary Mulligan.

The Hands4Hope Empty Bowls Committee was run by 13 youth leaders who, together with 4 volunteer Adult Mentors, logged more than 600 hours planning the event, under the support and guidance of a Hands4Hope staff member, and an alumni intern. In addition to the many hours Committee participants contributed to plan the event, more than 70 Hands4Hope youth participants served 345 hours to wash bowls, wrap utensils, set up the event, and serve during the event.

On Saturday, April 6, the Placerville Shakespeare Club filled with 393 Empty Bowls Dinner guests over two seating times, raising more than $13,000. These funds are split between Hands4Hope Emergency Food Pantry, Upper Room Dining Hall, and Earth’s Angels. Empty Bowls has always had a tradition of donating to an international organization as well as locally, and so they were lucky to have Hanan Merabi of Earth’s Angels attend this year’s event. Merabi spoke about how the Empty Bowls funds help Earth’s Angels build and maintain a sustainable fish farm in Ghana, Africa.

None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support of generous sponsors such as Folsom Times, Fergerson Financial, Law Office of Gregory S. Clark, Designing Dreams, Western Sign Company, Chuck and Conni Thompson, and many other community sponsors. In addition, a heartfelt thanks to our dedicated potters and schools who generously donated bowls which played a pivotal role in making the Empty Bowls Fundraiser a success. Our beverage sponsors and all those who contributed soup, bread, and desserts helped create a warm and inviting atmosphere, where attendees could come together to enjoy a delicious meal while supporting a worthy cause.

“Thank you to everyone who attended this year's event,” said Jayce Kaldunski, Hands4Hope Alumni and Empty Bowls Intern. “Your support is helping to combat hunger around the globe and in our community as well. This event cannot happen without your generosity, and the Hands4Hope Empty Bowls Committee hopes to see you at next year's event!”


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