Empty Bowls

By Joyce Ervin

There weren’t many empty bowls at the Aid in Milan “Empty Bowls” event, when hundreds were served at the Milan Senior and Community Center on Neckel Court to raise funds to help those in need in Milan.
Ticketholders were treated to an all you could eat soup and bread supper and a ceramic bowl of choice to take home made by Milan Middle School students under the supervision of art teacher, Kathy Biggs. Beverages and desserts were available for a donation.
Spearheaded by a community outreach committee made up of, Carrie Guiterrez, Jenny Ware and Janice Lore, the event was a tremendous success with more than $10,000 raised. Board president, Angela McLaughlin, said this was the single largest grossing fundraiser in Aid in Milan history.
McLaughlin said she would like to thank the AIM Community Outreach Committee and Steve Montesanto of Stewards for Strangers for putting on such a spectacular event.
Local businesses and organizations sponsored soups that were prepared by Montesanto.  He prepared 11 different soups to be enjoyed, including broccoli cheddar, beef chili, bean, butternut squash, roasted tomato, vegetarian chili, vegetable beef, chicken noodle, white bean chicken chili, Guinness beef stew and potato corn chowder with shrimp.
Volunteers and board members, Mike King, Cliff Franklin and Dave Snyder, were joined by Phil Bennett as servers.  Middle school students, Daphne Prior, Jadon Pfeiffer, Starlynn and Skyanne Haag, Mckynlee Ledesma and Natalie Gainey cleared tables.
Besides good food, attendees could shop for handmade creations, jewelry and other wares set up by local vendors.  A 48-item silent auction featured a variety of items.  A Playing Card Raffle offered players a chance to win a $100 gift card.  A Basket Raffle was also offered.  To finish the evening off, a live auction was conducted.
Middle School principal, Shanna Spickard, made a bowl for the occasion.  Hoping to retrieve her bowl, she told the event greeters, “I have a proposition for you.”
Spickard offered a $100 donation for the privilege of taking her bowl home.  She found her bowl among the many on display that attendees could choose, as part of their ticket fee.
Lisa Mellinger said she loves butternut squash, so she had to get a bowl of the squash soup.  She said, “Not as sweet as I thought it would be, but delicious.”
Five-year-old Cecelia Parker asked her mother to put a raffle ticket in the container found in front of a gardening supplies basket. The child-size watering can found among the contents may have caught the child’s eye.
McLaughlin said, “The outpouring of love this community has shown to AIM and in turn to OUR community is overwhelming.”

Joyce Ervin is a freelance writer reporting on Milan.  She can be contacted at:  jlervin42 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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