Fundraiser for seniors set for Thursday in Trenton
TRENTON — For one local art teacher, some sobering statistics about hunger and isolation among senior citizens were the inspiration for a fundraiser that hopes to bridge the age divide.
Donna Hawkins, who teaches art at Jones Senior High School, said when she learned about the number of seniors in North Carolina who suffer from hunger, and the higher number that suffers from isolation, she was inspired to do something to help seniors in her community. Enlisting help from her students and a grant through Jones/Onslow Electric, she organized the first Empty Bowls fundraiser last year.
The second annual Empty Bowls fundraiser will take place this week on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. in the Jones Senior High School gym, 1490 Hwy 58 South, Trenton. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 on the day of the event. A ticket includes two bowls of soup, a beverage and a handmade pottery bowl to take home. There will be a silent auction and entertainment throughout the evening. Proceeds from the event will go to support Jones County senior citizen food programs.
None of that would be possible, Hawkins said, without the overwhelming support the event has received from the community. Students at Jones Senior and Jones Middle hand-crafted more than 500 pottery bowls for the event, and students from New Bern High School contributed another 30. Jones County senior citizens made another 65 bowls to contribute to the event.
Hawkins said there will be 40 pots of soup made for the event, with private citizens, churches, community groups, caterers, and even Lenoir Community College contributing their culinary expertise. The options will include chicken pastry, chili, white chicken chili, deer stew, fish stew and many others.
In addition to the handmade bowls that are included with the purchase of a ticket, Hawkins said her students also made many other pottery items that will be available to bid on in the silent auction. The auction includes a large variety of items that have been donated by the community.
The beauty of this fundraiser, according to Hawkins, is that in addition to helping support programs that fight hunger among seniors, it also encourages young people to respect and learn from their elders.
“I believe that our students need to recognize who has paved the way for them, and that’s our senior citizens. They need to be taught how to be responsible in society and how to take care of people that are older than them,” she said.
To purchase tickets in advance, contact Donna Hawkins at 252-671-1268.