Bountiful Bowls

With the goal of helping people experiencing hunger, Empty Bowls by Barnabas celebrates ten years of giving a community luncheon at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.

This year’s tenth annual Barnabas Center Empty Bowls luncheon will be held on Monday, November 27, from noon to 1 p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The event raises funds each year to help individuals and families in the area who are experiencing hunger.

The Empty Bowls fundraiser is a symbolic reminder of the many “bowls” in the community that must be filled for people struggling with hunger or food insecurity. Each guest will receive a hand-painted bowl to commemorate their attendance. In preparation for the event, community members have already come together and painted hundreds of bowls while attending paint parties at Amelia Makery, a generous major event sponsor. Barnabas has the challenge of painting over 1,000 bowls this year in preparation for this event and their online bowl auction.

Beginning October 16, you can shop online for locally handcrafted gifts that support a good cause and bring extra joy to both the giver and recipient. Artisan bowls can be found at, featuring many spectacular hand-painted bowls by Nassau County artists and residents who donated their time and talent.

“I am proud to chair the tenth year of Empty Bowls. Our track record of meeting the increasing needs in our local community through the generous support of businesses and individuals continues to dazzle me!” says Pam Fox, this year’s Empty Bowls chair. “The volunteers, our special sponsors, such as our event host, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, and the many artists who paint our bowls are so special. I hope this year’s event will be a record-breaker in its impact on Nassau County. We are so fortunate to be part of this community that cares so deeply about others!”

Leslie Berghoef is also challenging supporters of the Empty Bowls event and members of the community to match the Henry Bergheof Memorial Challenge Fund of $50,000. These funds will help feed those who depend on the nutrition programs supported by Barnabas. Challenge contributions can be made online, mailed, or during the event.

Barnabas Center wishes to thank Legacy Sponsor Baptist Medical Center Nassau, and their Titanium Level sponsors thus far: Anonymous, Michelle & David Baldacci, Braddock-Waas Family, Liza & Terry Cotter, The Faith, Hope & Love Foundation, Pamela Fox & Jim Raycraft, Andrea & Corky Hoffman, Sandy Logan Mullman & John Mullman, Melonie & Jeff Murphy, The Faith, Hope & Love Foundation, and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.

Presenting level sponsors thus far include: an Anonymous donor, Debbie and John Baechle, Betty Berkman, Judy and David Easterly, Anne and Bill Gower, and The James and Dorothy Baer Foundation.

Platinum sponsors thus far are: Amelia Makery, Claudia and Randy Boldyga, Lyn Deroy, Jacqueline Dorrance-Tomlinson, Donna Lynne Custom Homes, Inc., DTW Research, Inc., Jane and Jim DuCharme, Dana and John Gaydac, Christy and Tom Henrichs, Suzie and Jim Hocker, Kim and Mike Mills, Betsy and Rod Odom, Omni Resorts Amelia Island, Janet and Ron Pfeffer, Pickett Construction, Terrie Spiro and Beth Hughes, and WestRock.

“We are very grateful for the contributing donors and sponsors at all levels,” says Fox. “The event is also supported by a grant from the Endowed $10,000 Event Grant Fund established in 2015 by Delores Barr Weaver.”

If you wish to host a paint party at Amelia Makery, contact Development Assistant Barbara Decker at (904) 261-7000, ext. 106. Bring a group of up to 30 people. Parties are held on Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m., please register in advance. An occasional Friday afternoon/early evening paint party from 3 to 5 p.m. is available as well.

Event proceeds help Barnabas Center to improve the stability, health, and well-being of individuals and families in need and deliver hope. For more information or to purchase a sponsorship or tickets ($40 per person), visit