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Sr. McGowan honored at Empty Bowl Supper

JANE REID KLEYN, Editor, Springfield Sun

Choose your unique bowl, choose your soup, choose your bread, and if you want something sweet, choose your dessert.

Choices were many at the New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future Empty Bowl Supper fundraising event.

Sister Claire McGowan (center), founder and long-time director of New Pioneers for a Sustainable poses with New Pioneers Executive Director Julie Gerwe and board member Sr. Susan Gatz, SCN. McGowan was honored on Friday, Feb. 23 with the Pioneer of the Year Award.

Most area residents know New Pioneers was founded by Sister Claire McGowan of the Dominican Sisters of Peace at St. Catharine’s. With so many sisters and other Catholics adhering to the traditional abstinence from meat on Fridays during the season of Lent, a bounty of meat-free options were available alongside the numerous meat-filled soups at the annual fundraiser on Friday, February 23.

The well planned and executed fundraiser drew a large crowd to the new Cornerstone Acres venue where participants purchase a hand-crafted bowl made by local artisans. Participants then fill their bowls with their choice of a wide variety of soups made by members and friends of the organization.

With bellies full, participants were treated to a variety of music from local talent, door prize drawings, and a split-the-pot raffle.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Pioneer Awards.

Top honor of the night was the Pioneer of the Year Award presented to Sr. McGowan, founder, and long-time executive director of New Pioneers. Sr. McGowan followed her heart in developing the organization to promote environmental education and sustainability in the region.

“It was a calling, and I am so happy to see what it has become, and the impact New Pioneers has had in this area,” McGowan said.

The award for Green Business or Organization of the Year went to Amanda and Elliott Mattingly for their work building walking trails in the Bardstown area.

Educator of the Year was Bill Napper of Bernheim Forest, honored for his efforts to educate through all aspects of the arboretum.

The Green Project of the Year was awarded to the Springfield Rotary Club in recognition of the ongoing development of the Rotary Park at the Reservoir.

Volunteers Will Rosenbaum and Sr. Brenda Gonzales set up the soups for the serving line at the New Pioneers Empty Bowl Supper on Friday evening.

6 thoughts on “Sr. McGowan honored at Empty Bowl Supper

  1. Brava! Sr. Claire, we are so proud of the work you have done and the tremendous impact you have had with New Pioneers. The Dominican Sisters of Peace are so glad your contributions have been recognized.

  2. Wow, this looks like a great fundraising idea! Advertising for artisans and their wares, raising money for a good cause and educating people about the environment and sustainability.
    You deserve the Pioneer Award, Sister Claire!
    Patti Herrick

  3. Congratulations, Sr. Clare for your creativity and the people you have reached and touched with your gifts.
    God bless you abundantly!

    Peace and gratitude,
    Sr. Brigid Cannon, OP

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