Loudoun Empty Bowls, an annual charity fundraising effort, raised $34,000 for Loudoun Hunger Relief and the Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter during its event earlier this fall.

Every year, Loudoun Empty Bowls has ceramic artists, students and community members come together to produce handmade bowls and donate them to a fundraising event, usually to benefit local nonprofits that assist with food insecurity. In exchange for a donation, each patron gets one of the bowls and a meal.

Stone Tower Winery was the venue sponsor for the fourth year in a row, and the winery donated a portion on the evening's wine sales. More than 500 people attended the event, paying $50 per person for soup, bread, and a bowl donated by a local artist.

Jennifer Montgomery, executive director of Loudoun Hunger Relief, and Judy Hanley, executive director of Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter, jointly praised and thanked the Loudoun Empty Bowls event.

"We can never thank the Empty Bowls Event Committee enough," they said. "The Empty Bowls team of Jenny Wolfer, Magen Morse, Amy Berringer, Kaarin Nelson, Kristen Swanson, and Christi Palacios put together a warm, welcoming, unique and beautiful event. Their dedication and caring raised $34,000 to help the people in our community who need it the most. We thank Stone Tower Winery and the Huber family for their generosity."

Montgomery and Hanley continued, "We extend our gratitude to each and every artist who contributed a bowl, truly pieces of art, to this effort. We thank the many community restaurants and organizations that provided food. We are grateful to the event sponsors. And we thank every attendee who made this event a wonderful success."

Loudoun Hunger Relief received $20,000 and Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter received $14,000.

The local restaurants and organizations that provided soup, bread and desserts for the evening included Andy's Lovettsville, Basil Leaf Mediterranean Grill, Magnolias at the Mill, Savoir Fare, Thaiverse, Leesburg Public House, Fresh Apron, Petite Loulou Creperie, Lightfoot Restaurant, Coneflower Catering, Tuscarora Mill, Lowry's Crab Shack, Lovettsville Pizza and Subs, Not Your Average Joe's, Moms Club of Sterling, Sugar and Spice Bakery, Costco, Catoctin Coffee Company, Natalie Metzler, Blushing Crow, Alice Mullen, The Specially Baked, Teresa Gunnel, Tasty Retreat, Mara's Kitchen, Brenda Stanley, Stephanie Landau and Angela Leuck.

White House Ceramic Studios and Firebird Ceramics and a number of ceramic artists donated the bowls. A complete list of artists can be found at www.loudounemptybowls.org.

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