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2017 Empty Bowls: A Benefit for
Bidwell Riverside Center

Our inaugural Empty Bowls: A Benefit for Bidwell Riverside Center on November 2nd was a success! We raised more than $30,000 from the evening and are so happy to put that towards serving our neighbors who are hungry and living in poverty.  Nearly 170 attendees enjoyed live music from the Nella Thomas Band, and selected a unique handmade bowl to take home and remind them to find ways to fill the bowls of others every day.


The fundraiser was such a success thanks to our many supporters, board members, volunteers, sponsors and community support. Our sincerest thanks go to our sponsors, UnityPoint Health Des Moines, Duncan and Pam Gallagher, Bankers Trust, and Casey's General Store for their support. 


The Polk County Board of Supervisors and their work for The Partnership for a Hunger-Free Polk County was honored as the community partner of the year that evening. Their aid with facility improvements, support to expand food pantry hours, and, most recently, a brand-new truck to transport thousands of pounds of food a month just scratches the surface of the ways they’ve helped Bidwell better serve our community.


Our gracious volunteer of the year, Arlina Pearce, was honored for her hours of commitment to Bidwell, and her regular donations of toiletries to stock the shelves. At the event, Arlina shared some impassioned words, reminding us all that we are our brother's keeper. 


Of course we must recognize the artisans who made bowls, as well as our friends who donated bowls to the event. We were very fortunate to have the support of many talented local artists: Steve Boyd, Dowling High School Ceramics Class, Teri Breck, Roxanne Jacobsen, Greg Lamont , Emily MacFarlandMarion Nehmer, Maggie Harlow-Vogt, Rubin Ruiz, Mary Weisgram & Mary Ann Begg. 


A big thank you goes to all of the United Methodist Women groups across the state who donated bowls, promoted the event, and attended that evening. We deeply appreciate your unwavering support.

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