Empty Bowls raises over $4K for hunger relief organizations

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Over 200 bowls were donated to Empty Bowls Project and displayed on tables outside of Proctor’s GE Theater. (Courtesy of Chloe Salisbry)
Over 200 bowls were donated to Empty Bowls Project and displayed on tables outside of Proctor’s GE Theater. (Courtesy of Chloe Salisbry)

Sunday, April 17 at 5 p.m. the Schenectady chapter of the Empty Bowls Project held their annual “Meager Meal” fundraiser in the GE Auditorium of Proctor’s Theater.

This year’s fundraiser was organized by Kenney Community Center director Angela Tatem, Union students Sharmeen Azher ’17, Jenna Salisbury ’18, Ian Koons ’18, Hannah Ellen ’19 and Gizela Thomas ’19.

Ellen, Thomas, Azher, and Salisbury emceed the event. “What makes this fundraiser so special is the amount of collaboration that goes into it.

The Schenectady community really pulled together in order to make this event possible and successful,” comments Salisbury.

These coordinators worked together with local businesses and restaurants who also dedicated their time and services towards the event.

Tickets for the “Meager Meal” event were $15 each, and all the proceeds made from the dinner were donated to Schenectady community hunger relief organizations such as Bethesda House, City Mission, and Concerned for the Hungry.

Proctor’s Theater donated the GE Auditorium to be used as the venue for the dinner.

The dinner itself was provided by several restaurants and caterers who volunteered their efforts for this fundraiser.

The main meal was chili provided by Bomber’s Burrito Bar and salads and soups donated by Union College Dining Services. Additionally, local bakery Our Daily Bread offered tons of bread towards the event and community service club Campus Kitchens provided brownies as the meal’s dessert.

Price Chopper provided the cutlery, plates, and drinks. In addition to the meal, guests were gifted with hand-made bowls made by several local pottery businesses. Potter and Owner of Dragonfly Pottery, Donald Glennon donated over 20 hand crafted bowls.

Union ceramics professor and owner of Two Spruce Pottery, Nancy Niefield held bowl making sessions and donated her own bowls as well while Niskayuna High School teacher, Paul Marcellino and his ceramics class donated over 100 bowls towards the event.

On top of providing guests with dinner and hand-made bowls, Union a capella groups, Dutch Pipers, Eliphalets, and Garnet Minstrels and singing group, Ukeladies all provided live entertainment for the duration of the dinner.

Several businesses offered gift cards to be raffled off at the event as well. Sondra’s Fine Jewelry store donated 2 $25 gift cards while restaurants, Chez Nous, Taj Mahal and Tara Kitchen each donated gift cards and Schenectady YMCA donated 3 family memberships, each good for 3 months.

Bowtie Cinemas also donated 4 movie tickets towards the raffle.

Large monetary donations were gifted by Arias Miranda, CEO of The Hispanic Coalition of NY, Chabad at Union, and the Economics department of Union.

Alpha Delta Lambda Sorority and Sigma Phi Fraternity volunteered as servers for the dinner, along with other Empty Bowls Project members.

100 people attended the event, including special guests such as representative of Bethesda House, Melissa Zampino and director of City Mission, Liz Chamberlain and Larry Lewis from Concerned for the Hungry.

Lewis also performed at the event. In all, the event raised $4,080, meaning City Mission, Concerned for the Hungry and Bethesda House each will receive a donation of $1,360.

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