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Manchin signs bowl to help fight hunger

Huntington, W.Va. — “I’m going to try to make that ‘h’ a little better,” said Gov. Joe Manchin as he carefully signed one of the first bowls produced for the 2009 Empty Bowls campaign.

The autographed bowl will be auctioned off on April 7 at the Empty Bowls event. All proceeds benefit the Huntington Area Food Bank, which supplies food to 17 counties in the Tri-State. Painting his signature on the bowl was difficult, but Manchin said he has signed even trickier autographs in his five years as governor.

“Do you know how hard it is to sign a baseball?” Manchin asked.

The governor and Marshall University President Stephen Kopp have each signed a bowl to support the campaign. Manchin said he was honored to help in this way.

“Everyone deserves food, shelter, and clothing,” he said. “Anytime people come on hardships and hard times, and we can do something to reach out – that’s what this is all about.”

The Empty Bowls lunch and silent auction will be on Tuesday, April 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1015 Fifth Ave., Huntington, W.Va.

Each guest who provides a $12 donation will receive a bowl handcrafted by the Marshall University Keramos Student Potter’s Guild and a lunch of soup and bread.

At the event, guests will have the opportunity to bid on additional bowls, memorabilia and other prizes, including the bowls signed by Gov. Manchin and President Kopp.

Public relations students at Marshall University’s W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications are working with pottery students from the Marshall University College of Fine Arts and the Huntington Area Food Bank to carry out the campaign and event. Kopp said he is proud of all the students who have dedicated their time and talents to this cause.

“These are very difficult times, and all of us need to take a look at what we can do to help others,” Kopp said. “This is just a great program, and I can’t thank our students enough.”