Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day: Bountiful Earth, Empty Bowls

Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

Tomorrow is Earth Day, Tulsa, and you know what that means - it's time for the Empty Bowls event at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

Former Tulsa mayor Kathy Taylor will serve as the honorary chair at this year's hunger awareness dinner and fundraiser event. Last year's event raised more than $120,000 for the Food Bank.

Woah. I don't know about y'all, but I could do some serious damage at a retail grocery store with $120,000 - just imagine what the experts at the Food Bank are able to do with it. With this support and others, the Food Bank and its partner programs are able to feed 60,000 people each week, the equivalent of 621,000 meals per month. Or, 9.5 million pounds of food.

The folks at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, they do important work.

As I wrote in this post, one of the truly unique items in this year's silent auction is a two-night stay for up to four couples in The Lodge. For you Pioneer Woman fans out there, you know exactly what I mean when I say The Lodge.

Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

Yeah. That Lodge.

For the uninitiated, The Lodge is on the property of Ladd and Ree Drummond out on the Drummond cattle ranch near Pawhuska. Ree Drummond is also known as The Pioneer Woman, the persona behind, one of the most popular blogs in the country. Here - educate yourself.

Other luxury items up for grabs at Empty Bowls include a private cooking class for 10 at the Lobeck-Taylor home (you know, Mayor Taylor's house), where guests will learn to create an international meal paired with wine at the direction of Chef Timothy Sean Fitzgerald, one of the best chefs in Tulsa.

Look also for a Napa Valley vineyard retreat, complete with six bottles of ultra-premium Napa Valley wine from Far Niente partner Jeremy Nickel's private collection; a private, seven-course tasting dinner, cooking demo and wine pairing for 10 guests by Executive Chef Jeff Marlow of The Oaks Country Club; a University of Tulsa football package, including sideline passes, a behind-the-scenes tour of the locker room (anyone else imagining that scene in Steel Magnolias with Shirley MacLaine in that football locker room?); and a $1,000 credit at Israel Diamond Supply.

Celebrity-autographed items include memorabilia from Reba McEntire (Reba!), Peter Facinelli of Twilight (I could hear you squeal from here), Julie Powell of Julie and Julia, Tulsa's own Hanson, Amber Valletta, Tiger Woods, Chris Chamberlain and Brett Favre.

It's all good, fun stuff, and it all benefits the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

Over the past 14 years, WaterWorks Art Center has donated more than 5,400 artist-created bowls for this event. Each guest gets to take one home as a reminder that thousands of Oklahomans go to bed hungry each night.

Individual tickets to Empty Bowls are $35 and include a light dinner of soup, salad and dessert. To buy tickets, e-mail my friend Fran at the Food Bank, or call her at (918) 585-2800.

After you grab your tickets, here are the event details to cut and paste into your calendar:

Empty Bowls
When: Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day!) 5:30-9pm (dinner from 5:30-7pm; live auction at 7:45pm)
Where: Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center, 6808 S. 107th E. Ave.

Even if you can't go, consider making a donation to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Especially during these times when the economy still hasn't managed to right itself, your gifts are particularly important and needed by this organization. Just $1 can provide seven meals to the hungry in Eastern Oklahoma, so no amount you can give is too small - everyone can help.

Awesome Pioneer Woman pics by Tulsa photographer Shane Bevel.

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