Media Coverage

Empty Bowls Luncheon scheduled Oct. 23

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Students at The Webb School will join other residents of Bedford County in handcrafting ceramic bowls as part of the fifth annual Empty Bowls Luncheon in Shelbyville. The event, scheduled from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, at First Baptist Church in Shelbyville, will benefit local charities Fresh Start Center and Women of Grace Ministries, according to a story submitted by The Webb School.

Empty Bowls is an international program designed to fight hunger. The Imagine Render Group started Empty Bowls in Michigan in 1990.

The original idea was that crafters and potters work with the community to create hand-made bowls, serve a meal in the bowls and ask for donations, which go to charities specific to each respective community. After the event, guests are encouraged to keep the empty bowls, leading to the name of the program.

At previous local events, the pottery bowls were not actually used for serving but were simply placed at the table settings.

Fresh Start Center

Fresh Start Center of Shelbyville is “a refuge for men who have been in jail and want a changed life,” said pastor Jay Pope, who serves as executive director. “Through this change, homes are restored, hate is replaced with love and crime is a distant word.”

The organization will receive half of the proceeds from Empty Bowls.

Women of Grace

Women of Grace’s purpose “is to help women in crisis, including but not limited to addictions, incarceration or financial distress,” said Ardeth Obenauf, the organization’s supervisor. “We do this through a Christian-based program.”

The women’s charity will receive the other half of the proceeds.

Buying a bowl

For the price of a $20 ticket, those attending will be served soup and will get to take home a handmade pottery bowl.

The donation of a canned or non-perishable food item for First Baptist Church’s food bank, as part of World Food Day, is also requested. Take-out bowls will be available. There will be a silent auction at the event.

The Webb School donated the clay, glaze, other supplies and firing for the Empty Bowls project.


Webb students of all ages, as well as church groups, pitched in to make the bowls that will be used. Approximately 410 bowls were made, including more than 150 crafted over the summer.

Supervising the work at the Webb workshop was Sue Wood, middle school art and pottery teacher.

“It’s been a really wonderful thing,” said Wood. “It’s brought the community together; I have a lot of people from the community come in and help make the bowls. I am so thankful for Webb for letting us use all the facilities. It’s thanks to Webb School that it happens.”

For more information and tickets, contact Sondra Barnes at 580-2533 or Ardeth Obenauf at 615-347-6453. Wood also has tickets to sell.


Empty bowls, full hearts at fund-raising luncheon(Local News ~ 10/18/13)
The handmade pottery bowls which give the Empty Bowls Luncheon its name represent hunger, according to Jay Pope of Fresh Start Ministries, one of two local non-profits (the

other is Women of Grace) which benefitted from the event. The fourth annual luncheon was held Thursday at First Baptist Church on Depot Street. …

Shelbyville Times-Gazette Photos

Hungry to help others? Giving’s reward will bowl you over (Local News ~ 10/06/13)
The fourth annual Empty Bowls Luncheon, which this year will benefit Fresh Start Center and Women of Grace, will be held Thursday, Oct. 17, at First Baptist Church on Depot Street. Those attending the fund-raiser will take home a pottery bowl hand-made by students from The Webb School. Although potato cheese soup, prepared by the Legends Steakhouse recipe, is the luncheon’s main course, it’s served separately, so that the handmade bowl can be taken home clean and unused…

Next Step Home closes, but Women of Grace fills the gap (Local News ~ 08/14/13)
Even as one door closes for women who are fighting to recover their lives, another door is opening to help women succeed. Next Step Home has finished serving women who have been released from jail or recovering from drug or alcohol addiction and is closing…