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Beyond Bowls: Community raises over $30,000 for homeless

Submitted to The Union
The artist community continues to create and donate bowls by the hundreds for the annual Empty Bowl fundraiser. The event supports Hospitality House and helping the local homeless community.
Photo: Courtesy photo

The 16th annual Empty Bowl benefit for Hospitality House wrapped up on Sept. 24, with bowls aplenty filled with hope for the homeless community. Over 400 people participated in the event and the fundraiser raised over $30,000 for Hospitality House to directly help people experiencing homelessness receive emergency shelter, food, case management, housing aid, medical respite, and more.

Success for the event was largely made possible by the artist community, who year after year continue to create and donate bowls by the hundreds.

This year, Hospitality House honored four artists at its Empty Bowl Art Extravaganza: Chic Lotz; Dik Hotchkiss; Mindy Oberne; and Yvon Dockter, all of whom were inducted into Hospitality House’s Empty Bowl Hall of Fame for individually donating 1,000 bowls (or more!) through the years to make Empty Bowl possible.



Eight restaurants also stepped forward as event hosts, each donating their own staff time and meals to support Empty Bowl, including: Sopa Thai Cuisine, Tofanelli’s Gold Country Bistro, Lola at The National Exchange Hotel, Golden Gate Saloon at The Holbrooke Hotel, Heartwood Eatery, Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co., Friar Tuck’s Restaurant & Bar, and Alexander’s Station Steakhouse and Event Center.

“As a homeless and housing services provider, we often see people at the lowest point in their lives,” Hospitality House Executive Director Nancy Baglietto said.



“Supporting Empty Bowl lets our guests know the community is backing them on their journey back to housing.”

Empty Bowl serves as an ongoing reminder of what a simple bowl of sustenance truly means for someone who is hungry and struggling on the streets with no place to call home. In their last fiscal year, Hospitality House served over 77,000 meals and every meal provided was met with gratitude from locals, like Tammy Dayton.

Dayton arrived at the shelter with her two cats Maya and Monkey Butt in 2021 after fleeing elder abuse. Because Hospitality House has an onsite Pet Program, Maya and Monkey Butt were also provided care and services. Despite several hardships, including having a stroke at the shelter, which she credits Shelter Manager Geoff Johannsen for saving her life, in September Dayton moved back into permanent housing.

Folks peruse through the many different hand crafted artisan bowls available during the Empty Bowl silent auction at Peace Lutheran Church.
Photo: Courtesy Photo

“It is very important to have community behind us here,” Dayton said. “I would love to thank the community and the donors for supporting us. I feel like you supported me personally… I am so thankful, so very, very thankful.”

Proceeds from Empty Bowl directly help more people like Dayton. Many ticketholders not only supported Hospitality House but their host restaurant by purchasing beyond the ticket price. Others took part in the bonus offering, the Empty Bowl Art Extravaganza, which was an exclusive opportunity for restaurant ticketholders to shop extra artisan bowls, enjoy delicious appetizers, listen to live music by Mark Vieaux and try their luck at the raffle and auction for amazing art pieces and prizes, including an all-day woodturning class by Carlos Angulo.

Further support for Empty Bowl came from generous local business sponsors, including: AJA Video Systems, Pawnie’s Home Care, Chapa-De Indian Health, BriarPatch Food Co-op, Telestream LLC, SPD Markets, Caseywood, County of Nevada (Better Together), Nevada County Association of Realtors, Whitewater Naturopathic Medicine, Yubanet.com and The Union.

Several local shops and retailers also donated merchandise and gift cards to support the auction and raffle at the Empty Bowl Art Extravaganza. Empty Bowl was also supported by volunteers who stepped up to help with event planning.

Those who attended the event are invited to take a short survey to share their feedback and experience, available at https://arcg.is/T5y1K0. To further the efforts of Hospitality House, donations are always welcome and may be mailed to 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945 or made online at hhshelter.org.

Additionally, Hospitality House is currently looking for angel donors and business sponsors to help offer a triple match for the 17th annual Night of Giving, an annual musical benefit for Hospitality House, set to return Thursday, Dec. 15 at The Center for the Arts. To learn more, contact the events team at info@hhshelter.org or by phone at (530) 615-0852.


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