MHS prepares for “Empty Bowls” banquet


By Heidi Daniels, MHS Round table reporter

The 24th Annual Empty Bowls fundraising banquet, put together by the school’s transitional education coordinator Jim Zimmer and MHS ceramics teacher Christina Leondarides-Mena will be held on April 19 from 6 to 8 p.m, at Middletown High School.

Empty Bowls is a fundraiser where community members come to enjoy some food, and receive a bowl, and all the proceeds are given to the Middletown Valley Food bank and People Helping People organization. Most money comes from the tickets being sold. Adult tickets are $14, tickets for children 12 and under are $5 and students’ tickets are $12.

Expecting roughly 250 to 300 attendees, Middletown High School is partnered with Carabba’s Italian Grill. They will feed the guests a variety of soups and breads. Students will be serving food, collecting tickets and walking around the floor to serve where they can.

Along with the food, there will be an art show with a variety of different art pieces, piano playing; provided by MHS Lily Mueller, a live ceramics demonstration on a wheel,  and a silent auction for which items are donated by the people in the community. “It is not any one person’s effort… it’s a big collaboration,” said Leondarides-Mena.

Zimmer said that this annual event is “like a reunion.” Some of the same attendees come and enjoy each other’s company.Zimmer has enjoyed the program’s growth and he said that knowing where the money is going makes him feel good..

“If one doesn’t have connections with family or any people in their church, this program helps them,” said Zimmer. Empty bowls is a way to gain good, strong friendships and connections in the community.

Since next year will be the 25th annual Empty Bowls banquet, both Zimmer and Leondarides-Mena plan on making it bigger and more special. Leondarides-Mena thinks they may have a theme for the evening and possibly having students making bigger bowls.

Both Zimmer and Leondarides-Mena hope that this year, Empty Bowls will be just as successful as the year before, or maybe even more.