Update: 3/5: Preliminary results show that 1,150 people were fed at this year's Empty Bowls event, raising over $20,000. Dan White's photo slideshow is here:
Dan White remembers the first Empty Bowls fund-raiser, back in 1997. "About 50 people came to eat," he says.
How times change. Looking around at the Masonic Center today, there were that many volunteers -- and far more hungry people making their way past the line of ten servers, each presiding over not one but two steaming kettles of soup. The lines were continuous, as picky diners -- having first chosen their hand-made soup bowl -- made their way around the room, checking out their meal options.
Ah, choices! There were about 50 different kinds of soup. Some of the more unusual included pumpkin peanut bisque, chili with protein curds instead of meat, vegan mushroom with caramelized shallots and thyme, pizza soup, five different versions of minestrone, lobster bisque, Italian wedding soup, Irish hunter soup... I could go on, but it's making me hungry all over again...
Not to take credit for something I had very little to do with, but my kettle of chicken and dumplings soup, chock full of both, won in a landslide -- refilled seven times in 90 minutes! -- over John Dickert's offerings to my right, and Bill McReynolds' to my left. (But who's counting?)
The kitchen was smoothly run by volunteers from Gateway Technical College's culinary arts program, who kept hot the various offerings from local restaurants, and also kept servers well-stocked. Other volunteers handed out fresh bread from local bakeries, and beverages. And in the dining room, musicians provided a calming backdrop.
All this effort for a very good cause; well, two of them: Empty Bowls is, after all, a fund-raiser for the Racine County Food Bank and the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization's shelter. Total results won't be known for a while, but co-chair Heidi Fannin said, "We served approx. 200 more people for lunch than we did last year! So, we did very well, which is what we all expected." Evening serving results hadn't been tabulated, but she said, "we were busy until the end!"
In the meantime, let's give recognition to as many of the participants as possible.
Restaurant chefs who provided soup represented: Apple Holler, Bentley's, Charcoal Grill - Hwy. 20, Circa Celeste, The Corner House, Culvers - 21st Street, Danny's Catering, Douglas Diner, Georges Tavern, HALO, Henry & Wanda's, Infusino's Restaurant, Ivanhoe's Pub, Javier's, Jose's Blue Sombrero, Kewpee Sandwich Shop, Lee's Deli, Mike & Angelo's, Old Country Buffet, Olde Madrid, Olive Garden, Out Of The Pan, Perkins Restaurant, Pias' Pizzeria, Red Onion Café, Reflections, River Run Restaurant, Roma Lodge, Roosters Restaurant, Salutes, San Francisco Grille, Sausage Kitchen, Sebastian's, Shillings Irish Pub, Spinnaker's, The Council House, United Way of Racine County, Veteran’s Center, Waves Pub & Grill and Wells Brothers.
Other soup donors were: Dick and Pat Ehlert, Kimball Hardin and M. Rubin, Michele (Kobriger) Hunter, Bonnie Kidwell, Curt and Susan Lange-Pruitt, Cindy Maragos, Connie Molbeck, Cathy Perkins and Family, Barbara Suprak, Evelyn Smetana, Chris Veranth, Debbie Weyers, Cynde Summers and Family, Midge Green, Pam Henderson and Family, Sue and Gary Goodsell and Sue Gibbs and Family
Bread donors were: Bendtsen's Bakery, Larson's Bakery, O&H Bakery, Lopez Bakery, Panera Bread, Siena Center, Gateway Culinary Program, Olive Garden, Piggly Wiggly and Pick-N-Save.
Musicians were Amy Joy Dienberg, Kevin Brown Quartet, Luke Patterson and Night Wing.
Volunteers came from the AAUW, ALP, Girl Scouts, Horlick High School, Junior League, Prairie 8th Grade, Racine Art Guild, Volunteer Center of Racine, West Racine Rotary Club.
Major event sponsors included: ART Clay Studio, Educators Credit Union, Gateway Culinary Program, In-Sink-Erator, Kiwanis West, Masonic Center, Racine Founders Rotary Club, Career Industries, Cooper Industries, DASH Gloves, Fired Up!, Merchants Moving, General Rental, Rotary West, Sebastian’s, Starbucks Coffee, Volunteer Center of Racine, Wilson’s Coffee & Tea, RAM and Wustum.
Artists who made some of the magnificent bowls included Jeff Shawhan, Amanda Paffrath, John Van Koningsveld, Cathy McCombs, Sue Inbusch, Harold Solberg, Hank Bardenhagen, Kevin Pearson, Pam Showman, Bill Anderson, Jim Limburg, Maureen Michna Becker, Joyce Guillien, Alex Mandli, Jim Hall, Cindy Morganroth, Karisa Livingston, Larry Jamison, Barbara Hantschel, Sue Bush, Barbie Rench, Dennis Moll, John Ellgas, Marg Lacock and Denise Zingg.
Bowl-donating organizations included Dr. Jones Elementary School, Giese Elementary School, Wind Point Elementary School, Mitchell Middle School, Prairie School, Racine Montessori, Educators Credit Union, Raymond Elementary, Spectrum School and Gallery, Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School, J.I. Case High School, Johnson Financial, Junior League, Horlick High School, Washington Park High School, Walden High School, Waterford High School and UW Parkside.
And finally, here's the Empty Bowls 2010 Committee: Heidi Fannin, Dan White, Paul Schiele, Sue Beres, Donna Newgord, Dorothy Feeney, Judi Quinn, Pam Hoadley, Brenda Thomas, Dan Taivalkoski, Nancy Feiner, Sue Fritsche, Susan Feehrer and Wendy Sustochek.