Fifteen dollars can’t get you much these days, but this weekend it’s enough for a locally handcrafted soup bowl, two helpings of gourmet soup and the satisfaction of supporting quad-city food banks.
On Sunday, Aug. 27, the Prescott Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation are sponsoring the 20th annual Empty Bowls. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at courthouse plaza in downtown Prescott, attendees can select one of more than 800 soup bowls created by local ceramists and wood turners and two servings of soup from 14 different restaurants -- and it’s only $15, said Coordinating Chair Eunice Ricklefs.
Participating restaurants include Augie’s (Butternut Squash), Far from Folsom (Cash Chili Steak & Bean), Limoncello (Cream of Mushroom), Lonesome Valley Brewery (Tomato Basil Bisque), El Gato Azul (Posole), Open Book Café (Vegetarian Pho), Prescott Seafood Co. (New England Clam Chowder), Park Plaza Deli (Vegan Roasted Butternut Curry), Raven Café (Taco Soup), Premier Catering & Events (Chile Verde), English Garden Tea Room (Broccoli Cheddar), Downtown Greek Pita (Argolemono), Hassayampa Inn (Albondigas de me Familia) and Murphy’s Restaurant (Sweet Potato Bisque). Coordinating all the restaurants is Chef Peter Padilla, Ricklefs said, noting his efficiency.
“He goes around and asks them. Some say we don’t make soup, like Fresca Café,” Ricklefs said, adding that while Fresca Café doesn’t make soup, they’ve still participated with a donation. “Fresca Café donated a gift card … so that will go in our raffle.”
Along with the raffle, there’s also the silent auction consisting of specialty pieces donated by artisans, according to a prior news release from Sandra Rogers. Usually, there’s 40 items on display, such as large ceramic platters and bowls, sets of wood bowls, pottery mugs and plates, vases, jewelry and art pieces, the release stated.
To commemorate 20 years of putting on Empty Bowls, shirts have been made, Ricklefs said. The chefs have white shirts, the volunteers have bright yellow and gray shirts will be sold during the event, she said. There are quite a few volunteers, according to the news release. Over the Hill Gang, Boys to Men, local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and the Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Youth Band are all volunteering, the release stated. Youth Band Cross Eyed Possum is also set to entertain this year, Ricklefs said.
Last year brought in $16,000 for area food banks and the hope is to do better this year, Ricklefs said. The raffle and silent auction usually garners $3,000 and usually there’s about 1,000 people who come through the line, she added.
Empty Bowls is such a joyous event with people even coming by, saying they don’t want to stand in line for soup and just donating $10 or $15, Ricklefs said.
“Everybody just falls over backwards to help us,” she said. “It just brings the whole community together to give to others.”