Each year, hundreds of local artists, students and community members create colorful bowls to serve as a reminder that somewhere in our community, there is someone who is hungry and faces an uncertain future and an empty mean bowl due to poverty. The effort benefits Empty Bowls, an all-volunteer, nonprofit that uses local art to raise money and awareness in the fight against hunger.

Recently, Associated Bank colleagues of the Associated Women’s Network (AWN) and the Young Professionals of Associated (YPA) partnered with family and friends in the community to be a part of the Empty Bowls project. Twenty-three colleagues and family members decorated 20 bowls for the fundraiser.

“It was wonderful that two great colleague resource groups, AWN and YPA, were able to bring colleagues and our families together to help make a difference in the fight against hunger in our community,” said Candy Thurs, service relationship manager personal trust, Associated Bank.

“I enjoyed an evening out with colleagues and some of their families to help fight hunger and food insecurity in Central Wisconsin,” said Andrew Brueggeman, portfolio manager, Associated Bank. “I highly encourage and recommend events such as these to build community within our organization and outside of our organization. My girls and I really enjoyed it!”

The finished one-of-a-kind bowls will be donated to the “Empty Bowls Fundraiser” — an event held in Wausau in November.

All proceeds from the event benefit The Neighbors’ Place Food Bank, which provides food for over 500 families each week.