The Licking County Arts (LCA) organization wants people to come and fill their bowls with homemade soups during the second annual Empty Bowl "fun raiser," to be held Oct. 4.

The Licking County Arts (LCA) organization wants people to come and fill their bowls with homemade soups during the second annual Empty Bowl "fun raiser," to be held Oct. 4.

"It's a very casual event," LCA president Susan Kamps said. "You can wear jeans and come and eat soup."

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Gallery of The Works in downtown Newark. The entrance is off Second Street, across from the county parking garage.

Fifteen varieties of soup will be featured, along with bread, beverages and dessert.

Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart, another event organizer who also operates the LCA gallery in downtown Newark, said she's trying an Amish chicken soup, made with mushrooms, cream, sour cream and noodles.

The soups are being made by different artists who are members of the LCA. The LCA supports more than 300 professional and amateur artists in Licking County, operates a gallery and gift shop at The Works and coordinates shows for The Works' Central Gallery. During the evening, Fernandez Stewart said, the group will unveil the 2009 schedule for the Central Gallery shows.

More than 20 pieces of art have been donated for the event's silent auction, which concludes at 7 p.m.

Last year's event raised about $3,000 for the LCA and attracted about 80 people. Fernandez Stewart said the group is expecting more people this year and will use some of neighboring Heritage Catering's space, which includes outdoor seating. A tent will be put up outside for children who want to play, she said.

Kamps said any money raised through the Empty Bowl fundraiser is used for operating costs.

The LCA was formed 48 years ago and operated a gallery on Hudson Avenue. The home eventually was sold, with money from the sale put into a fund to support the LCA.

The group was reorganized and resurfaced after finding space at The Works to lease.

Kamps said the Empty Bowl event is the group's primary fundraiser and helps support local programs.

Both women said the event is casual and fun and is geared to people who want to relax and have a good time.

"It's a great time for people to get together with their families and share," Fernandez Stewart said.

Admission is $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the event, with tickets available at the LCA gallery on Second Street. Children ages 6 to 12 are admitted for $10, and children younger than 5 are admitted for free. Admission comes with a souvenir bowl. Call (740) 349-8031 or visit www.lickingcountyarts.org.