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UE Clay Club Donates Thousands to Community Food Bank

Posted: Thursday, January 18, 2024

The Clay Club held its 21st annual Chili Bowl Sale on the University of Evansville campus on October 31, 2023. There were over 500 handmade ceramic bowls for sale, with the majority being sold for $10 and others ranging from $15 to $100. In previous years, the sale of the bowls lasted from 15 to 30 minutes. In 2023, the bowls sold out in a record time of six minutes and 30 seconds. People waited in lines longer for chili than they waited to buy the bowls.

Photo: Alayna Acree, President of UE Clay Club, and Professor Todd Matteson, Advisor to UE Clay Club, present a check to Amanda Drew, Community Food Bank, in the sum of $6880.00.

The Chili Bowl Sale brings one of the largest crowds to campus, and the crowd for 2023 was twice as large as the previous year. This event draws a large turnout from not only the campus community but also the public.

“We have families that drive over two hours to be here,” said Todd Matteson, Chair of the Department of Art. “The sale is anticipated every year and has become a tradition for many.” 

This year the UE Clay Club chose the Community Food Bank Inc. of Dubois County as its beneficiary. The club has a member that personally benefitted from this charity in the past and wanted to pay it forward. The UE Clay Club decided to donate all profits this year to the Community Food Bank. 

Since 2016, when the UE Clay Club became a Student Government Association-sponsored group, they have been operating the Chili Bowl Sale as a philanthropic event and fundraiser, donating close to $30,000 to fight hunger. Each year the UE Clay Club members must research and decide which organization they want to support.

 Matteson has two requirements for the students as they choose where to donate: first, the organization needs to be mostly funded by private donors; and two, they must spread the gifts to organizations inside and outside of Vanderburgh County. This is done on a rotating basis.

“We have a lot of students that also reside in the surrounding counties, and those counties need our support too,” said Matteson. “This furthers UE's commitment to fighting hunger within the greater community.”

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