Whether it was the chicken soup from Chick-fil-a, beans provided by Draco Miller or one of the soups or beans provided by the 16 other local businesses, more than 1,000 residents came out to show their support for the Empty Bowls Project. 

“This has been another successful year,” said Angelia Bostick, executive director of Good Samaritan Ministries. “We’ll know the final totals of money raised by Monday.”

Residents had 1,300 hand-painted bowls and 120 gallons of soup to chose from Thursday. This year was the first year GSM sold preview tickets to residents who wanted to have first choice at selecting their bowl.

“We’ve always had people who’ve asked about it,” said Misty Bowers, director of communication at GSM. “Whether it was parents wanting the bowl their kids painted or individuals, we could never make that guarantee. So this year we wanted to try and make that happen and we had about 55 tickets sold.”  

GSM had about 100 volunteers working Thursday from opening the doors for 

incoming residents, serving the soup, cleaning the tables and providing the entertainment for the dining residents. Several of the students performing on the stage were from Howard Payne University.

Sponsors for the Empty Bowls Project included the Runaway Train, 4-H Conference Center, Prima Pasta, Brownwood Country Club, Steve’s Market and Deli, Humphrey Pete’s, Skillets, Taquito Millonario, Mi Familia, The Turtle Restaurant, Brownwood Regional Medical Center, Sticks BBQ, Common Grounds Coffeehouse, Lemons BBQ, Section Hand and HPU’s Sodexo.

“Thanks to our sponsors, we are able to keep all of the proceeds raised,” Bowers said. “Ninety percent of the proceeds will go to benefit the Good Samaritan Ministries programs and the remaining 10 percent will go to an international hunger program.”