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Local chefs soup up for fundraiser

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Shelly Birkelo
October 15, 2012

— Area chefs will stir up 35 kinds of soup for ECHO's second-annual Empty Bowls fundraiser.

Everyone Cooperating to Help Others created the Empty Bowls event to help low-income people put food on their tables.

Last year, the event served more than 400 people and raised almost $6,000, said Cheryl Maveety, client advocate.

More people are expected to attend this year's expanded event that will feature more chefs and soups, she said.

So far, 32 restaurants are making 35 kinds of soup.

Attendees will have the option of buying hand-thrown pottery bowls donated by Parker High School art students, by Carmen Goralski of Beloit Pottery and by other area potters, Maveety said.

Jim Elsberry of Elsberry's Edibles catering and Pit Stop BBQ & Deli in downtown Janesville is among the participating chefs. He said he'll most likely brew a pot of hearty potato bake or cheesy soup.

"It'll be whatever mood strikes me," he said.

Elsberry said he's happy to help.

"This is for a good cause for everybody involved. Times have been tough, and we've been blessed, here, with some really good business.

"So we like to help out when we can," he said.

Those who attend can eat as much soup as they want and choose from an assortment of breads, dessert and drink.

"It is really nice," Maveety said. "You get to choose what soups to taste, but I don't know how you can taste them all."

Live entertainment, best soup competitions and a silent auction will be part of the event, she said.

Maveety said one in every five children in the United States is food deprived.

"If they don't have enough food, they don't develop correctly, miss more school, are sick more often and obesity comes into play because they're not eating the right foods. This perpetuates the cycle into adulthood," she said.

The idea for the Empty Bowl "is you take this empty bowl home as a reminder that somewhere in the world someone has an empty bowl," Maveety said.



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