Nonprofit soup supper revamps auction

Donating to help the homeless will mean getting a handcrafted bowl and a warm meal at Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter’s 24th annual Empty Bowl Soup Supper on Friday.

Alliance board member and event chair Elizabeth Cooper said around 14 local artisans have crafted 300 total soup bowls for the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser. Those that purchase tickets will enjoy a soup supper out of their chosen bowl and take it home after the event as a souvenir.

Local restaurants have shown their support by donating the soup, bread and decorative flowers for the event. All proceeds from tickets and bids for the silent auctions at the event will go toward the nonprofit’s efforts to prevent homelessness and support those in need.

Board member Barbara Adamson said this year’s silent auction items, donated by businesses and individuals, have been organized into themed baskets like spa baskets, a knitting basket and a James Madison University basket. Larger items, like pieces of handcrafted furniture, will be up for auction by themselves, but Cooper said about 75 percent of auction items will be in the baskets.

“We have such a wide variety of organizations that donate items,” she said. “They would be so random, so we thought, ‘why don’t we take all of those and make a higher value basket instead of just doing the items themselves?'”

A print of Elizabeth Strippy’s painting that depicts the Shenandoah County Alms House in the early 1900s will be given to a raffle winner at the supper. The alliance used the building as a shelter from 1991 until it burned in an April 2014 fire that also destroyed the original painting. According to a press release, the print is one of 250 made of the painting and was donated for the raffle by alliance supporters. Those tickets are available for $5 or five for $20 at the supper or at The Market in Woodstock.

“The print is beautifully and archivally framed,” Adamson said. “It’s really very nice and rare … and of course they’re even more special because the Alms House is no longer standing.”

Cooper said the alliance raised around $18,000 from tickets and auctions last year and that she hopes the nonprofit can surpass that amount this year.

“The people from our community that donate to this … are always there with open hearts and we could not exist as an organization without them,” she said.

IF YOU GO: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Friday at Central High School, 1147 Susan Ave.,Woodstock. Tickets are $35 for adults, $20 for students and can be bought at the Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter headquarters in Woodstock, the Woodstock Café, Sager Realty in Strasburg, the Edinburg Mill, the Community Store in Basye or online at http://tinyurl.com/ohuvsbc.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com