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Salvation Army kicking off Empty Bowl Fundraiser with golf tournament

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 7:51 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Many local organizations that make it a daily mission to help those in need are still in need themselves following the pandemic and last year’s storms.

After an almost two-year absence, the Salvation Army is kicking off its 14th annual Empty Bowl Fundraiser. However, this year’s event is going to look a lot different.

Salvation Army will host the first annual Empty Bowl in One golf tournament at the National Golf Club of Louisiana in Westlake. Proceeds from this fundraiser will go to fund social service programs to help people with their utilities and rent as well as help fill the gap of purchasing things for the shelter that insurance doesn’t cover.

Commanding Officer Lt. Thomas Marion says it’s a way for the organization to keep the Empty Bowl name alive until they’re able to get back to hosting the original event.

”Our Empty Bowl Fundraiser is very important to us each year. It provides a lot of money towards our shelters,” Marion said.

What’s been known as the Salvation Army’s Empty Bowl Fundraiser is taking a different but much greener path.

”Most years we raise up to $100,000 off this fundraiser. This year we know it’s not going to raise as much, but we’ve already exceeded what we thought we’d do already,” Marion said.

This year’s fundraiser will not include the traditional Empty Bowl setting due to COVID-19 protocols. However, Marion says a golf tournament is a good way to meet the need while also helping locals take their minds off a stressful year.

“Since Laura, we’ve probably had over 10,000 people come to us for help,” Marion said. “At Christmas, we fed over 5,300 children. We’ve paid over 100 different utilities and rents since the beginning of the year.”

Marion says their biggest need of all requires getting their homeless shelter back up and running.

”We have to restock all the pillows, blankets, food, mattresses we had in the shelter, and this money is going to help go towards that.”

He says losing the shelter to the storms has been the biggest challenge while still feeling the effects of the pandemic.

”I mean the numbers have been growing. Luckily we’ve had the support from the community and local corporations to raise the money to keep the funds going.”

It’s that same support that Marion says has been truly vital during this time of need because everyone has felt the emotional and financial burden in some form.

The Empty Bowl in One golf tournament will take place Monday, June 14. Tee-off is set for 1 p.m. at the National Golf Club in Westlake.

There are entries available for teams and individuals. Fifteen spots are still available for teams.

Door prizes from Golden Nugget and Lauberge will be awarded. Also, anyone who earns a hole-in-one will be entered into a drawing to win a brand new Ford F-150.

Dinner will be provided by Paul’s Rib Shack.

Sponsors: BancorpSouth, Phillips 66, Wade & Missy Shaddock, Myers & Associates, First Federal Bank of Louisiana, Stream Wetland Services, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, Citgo, Entergy Louisiana, Mike Willis Ford.

Contact thomas.marion@uss.salvationarmy.org, if you’d like to enter your team or provide sponsorship.

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