Event fills empty bowls again in Orange County

photo-19The aptly-named South County Outreach Empty Bowls event was held Thursday at the El Niguel Country Club and the fundraiser brought in much-needed proceeds for the housing and food programs that provide 52,000 services a year.

The third annual Empty Bowls featured a unique tasting of soups from 12 local chefs and handmade ceramic bowls that served as reminders of hungry neighbors that were donated by O.C. artisans and students.

Wing Lam, founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco, was the guest speaker and he shared stories about what fuels his passion for helping people in need. South County Outreach client Wendy told the crowd of 250 how she has benefitted from the transitional housing program that helped her move her family from couches and cars into a warm, safe home. Her speech was very moving and she received a standing ovation for sharing her experiences. (See more on Wendy on page xx)

Board member Robert Ming talked about his experience in the recent South County Hunger-Awareness Project in which he and his family joined Shari Battle, of Bank of America, and Jan Lansing, of CHOC, in living off food pantry fare for five days. This was designed to draw attention to issues surrounding hunger and providing local solutions. The Orange County Register article about the story is reprinted in this newsletter.

The evening was about understanding the plight of local people facing hard times and coming together to provide help to fight hunger and homelessness. The spirit was uplifting and optimistic as guests enjoyed the great food and camaraderie.

Generous event sponsors were Sharon and Dean Baltzell, Savills Studley/Andrew Morrow and Applied Medical. Toyota Racing Development was the floral underwriter and the cork pull was provided by Fleur de Lys Events.

Restaurant partners and chefs providing the evening’s delicious soups were Bracken’s Kitchen, Delizie, El Niguel Country Club, Hanna’s, Prego, Savannah Chop House, Sonny’s Pizza and Pasta, Stella’s Serious Italian, Sundried Tomato Bistro, Tutto Fresco, Villa Roma and Wineworks. Beverage partners providing tastings were J. Lohr and Legacy Brewing Company.

Ceramic parters were Ryan Mennealy, Capistrano Valley High School, Los Alamitos High School, Mission Viejo High School, Tesoro High School, Trabuco Hills High School,  Fired Up San Clemente, Potters & Sculptors and Slipcasters Clubs of Laguna Woods – and the children of the South County Outreach housing programs.

Many local individuals and businesses donated items for the silent auction and which also featured creations from our ceramic partners. Music was provided by the SMART Foundation Jazz Execs.

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