By Shae Hillary
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE
Tasty soup, live music and passionate supporters drew Durham residents together for Urban Ministries of Durham’s sixth annual Empty Bowls event on March 8.
The fundraiser, held at the Durham Armory, sold over 800 tickets.
“We are expecting the support from the Durham community, to have the work of our agency be recognized, and for people to have a good time,” said executive director, Patrice Nelson.
The money raised will be used to help with UMD’s most immediate need: providing food for its clients.
The goal for the evening was to raise $50,000. Tickets were sold for $15 for soup and $30 for soup and a bowl. To date, they have raised about $32,000, but expect more as they calculate the proceeds from the Empty Bowls after party, hosted by FullSteam Brewery.
Local artisans from the community donated pottery bowls for the event along and local restaurants participated by serving their specialty soups.
“This is a wonderful community,” said Monnie Riggin, UMD volunteer.
Some of Durham’s top restaurants such as Guglhupf, Revolution, L’Uva, and Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse came to serve up their best soup in hopes of claiming ‘The Best Soup’ title in a competition.
“This is the second year we’ve participated in this event. It is a great way for us to be connected to the community. There is always a great atmosphere and the people are always supportive,” said Sasha Travers, marketing director for Guglhupf. “Also, it is nice to see the other restaurants.”
A panel of judges, including Tisha Powell ABC’s WTVD Channel 11 news anchor, determined which restaurant served ‘The Best Soup’ of the night. The winner: Thrills from the Grill’s sweet potato and lentil soup.
Many of the event’s guests were long-time supporters of UMD.
“We cannot thank people enough, especially our supporters who continue to donate every year,” said Susan Amney, UMD board member.
This event was more than a fundraiser, however, for the community it was a night to pay tribute to the work of UMD.
“Urban Ministries is my thing and I would do anything to support them,” said Monnie Riggin.