2005 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence in Fellowship and Fun

Quota International of Manchester New Hampshire, United States

The purpose of a bowl is clear to most of us: it’s a perfect vessel for foods like stew and soup. However, to members of Quota International in Manchester, New Hampshire, the bowl has taken on a greater significance. When empty, it is a reminder that hunger is a problem throughout the year and around the globe. Through the Empty Bowl Project, Manchester Quotarians have not only strengthened their fellowship, but they have also educated the public about hunger and raised significant funds to combat it.

The Empty Bowl Project began ten years ago, when club members got together to enjoy soup set out in hand-thrown bowls provided by a local potter. At the night’s conclusion, they made individual donations to pay for more food. Ten years later, the event has grown to include members of the community and to provide nearly $16,000 to the local “Meals on Wheels” office and church food pantry.

One hundred percent of club members participated in the project this year. Even the snowbirds who had already left the brutal New England snow made donations from their warmer winter homes. The nearly 100 people in attendance also included members of the community, and all present at the annual spring event enjoyed music, good food, and friends. While savoring soup and fellowship, the club raised nearly $1,500.

The bowls ensure that the purpose of the day is not forgotten. Quota members encourage the attendees to display them in their homes to demonstrate that hunger is a year-round problem, not only in developing countries, but also locally. The empty bowls will remind event-goers of the fun they had on a cold winter night, as well as the need to feed the hungry all year long.

To read or print the club’s winning application, click here*.


Quota International of Minneapolis Minnesota, United States


Do you want to find a way to beat the winter blues? Take a trip to sunny Mexico! If travel isn’t in your budget this year, consider the ambiance the Quota club of Minneapolis created with their “Fun in the Sun” event, which celebrated Quota’s 75th anniversary. The Mexican holiday-themed event promoted club membership and provided 32 guests with a mini-vacation from those blustery Midwestern winters.

With creative thinking and lots of brainstorming, committee members transformed a wintry February day into a sunny adventure. Quotarians traded in winter parkas for sombreros and transformed a bank conference room with colorful table settings and Mexican food and drink. Guests enjoyed a buffet of refried beans, burritos, salsa and dip, and salad, as well as a bar that included Mexican beer, sodas, and, of course, margaritas.

The evening didn’t end with dinner: a Mexican holiday wouldn’t be complete without dance, shopping, and a piñata! After dinner, Mexico Lindo, a folkloric dance group, performed intricate dances in colorful costumes, and guests perused the clothing, accessories, and jewelry featured at a Mexican bazaar. The highlight of the evening was the piñata, shaped like a burro and spilling out perfume samples, Mary Kay cosmetics, coffee packets, and dental and foot care products.

The event netted QI of Minneapolis nearly $900. Aside from the fellowship and financial success, the event showed guests what Quota is all about, attracting three new members to keep the club warm through the rest of the winter.

To read or print the club’s winning application, click here*.


To return to the 2005 Excellence Award Winners main page, click here.

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