The Empty Bowls 2018 fundraiser benefiting local food banks raised an estimated $18,000 to $19,000 — among the highest totals ever, according to the event’s planning committee members. They said part of that success was due to an added number of sponsors.

The Saturday gathering featuring a supper of donated homemade soups, chillis, breads, and desserts attracted about 650 diners at Central Middle School, according to Beth Parkhurst, among the organizers. More than 100 volunteers made the fundraiser happen.

Planners initially hoped to hit the $20,000 mark to mark the fundraiser’s 20th anniversary.

“We’re definitely excited about that total (anyway),” Parkhurst said.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.