By Riley Manning
TUPELO – In the clutches of such dismally inclement weather, not much may be more comfortable than a bowl of warm soup.
With the annual Empty Bowls event on March 5 just under a month away, The Salvation Army is hoping to top last year’s earnings.
“Last year was down a little bit from previous years,” said the Northeast Mississippi Salvation Army’s senior officer, Major Sue Dorman. “We’re really hoping to get it back up to normal.”
Earnings for 2013 hit just more than $50,000, down from 2012’s $63,000.
But Susan Gilbert, the Army’s social services director, is optimistic.
“The bake sale held at the event gets bigger and bigger each year,” she said. “We’ve got some really good cooks. This year, we’re also offering some sugar- and gluten-free goodies.”
Gilbert said the bake sale netted more than $7,000 last year. In addition, this year’s event will feature a silent auction.
“What we really need now are donations of goodies for the bake sale and the silent auction,” Gilbert said. “That can be a pedicure, a meal, pretty much anything goes.”
As usual, Empty Bowls will allow attendees to sample soups from dozens of local restaurants, chefs and vendors. As a souvenir, ticket purchasers will walk away with their own unique bowl, handmade by the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary.
The SAWA and local potters work year-round crafting the bowls, which have become the signature of the event. Gilbert said the program requires between 2,000 and 2,500 pieces each year.
In addition to the $15 tickets, the Army is also selling tickets for Boston butts prepared by BBQ by Jim for $25. These tickets must be purchased in advance, and the butts will be available to pick up at the Empty Bowls event.
Tickets for the luncheon and Boston butts may be purchased at Salvation Army headquarters, 217 Carnation St. in Tupelo, or from any Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary member.
IF YOU GO
• What: Salvation Army Empty Bowls luncheon
• When: Ash Wednesday, March 11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Where: Tupelo Furniture Market, Building V
• Cost: $15 per ticket, which includes a potter’s bowl