Fundraiser offers artisan bowls, soups to combat hunger | CraigDailyPress.com

Fundraiser offers artisan bowls, soups to combat hunger

Roberta Hawks shows off some of the handmade bowls for the first Empty Bowl Fundraiser held in 2013. This year, Hawks and 7 other local potters produced approximately 350 handmade bowls for the event, to be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Craig. Tickets cost $15, may be purchased at the door, and include a bowl to take home as well as soups, rolls and desserts.

— Handmade bowls, homemade soups and full bellies are on the menu Friday for the Empty Bowl Fundraiser to benefit St. Michael's Community Kitchen.

Community members are invited to St. Michael's Catholic Church at 678 Breeze St. from 4 to 7 p.m. for soup, art and live music. For $15, participants will receive a one-of-a-kind bowl made by local potters to be filled with their choice of 13 different soups.

The event raised $6,000 during its first run in October 2013. All of the proceeds benefit St. Michael's Community Kitchen, which feeds approximately 300 people per week.

"I think sometimes lots of people overlook that and think we don't have hungry people in Craig, but there are lots of people that need to be fed," said Stephanie Etzler, co-owner of Carelli's. "It's such a feel-good thing."

Carelli's is one of 12 local restaurants donating soup to the event, as well as 250 rolls. Desserts will be provided by K&S Creations.

St. Michael's Community Kitchen opens its doors to anyone in need of a meal on Tuesdays for lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursdays for dinner from 4 to 6 p.m. Carelli's regularly donates its lunch leftovers, providing meals for 30 to 50 people per week.

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"We get seniors that come in and a lot of different people that come in," said community kitchen organizer Robin Schiffbauer. "It's really wonderful."

The kitchen also delivers meals to home-bound individuals at no charge, and helps distribute food donations to partner organizations such as Love INC, the Interfaith Food Bank and Community Budget Center on the days it's not serving meals.

"It's important to me. I feel pretty strongly about what St. Michael's is doing and how they've pulled the community together," said local potter and event organizer Roberta Hawks. "It doesn't matter who you are. If you walk in, you are fed."

Hawks is one of eight local potters who have collectively produced approximately 350 bowls that they will donate to the event.

"Not only does it bring attention to hunger in our community, it also highlights our local art community in Craig," Hawks said.

A silent auction will feature artwork and crafts donated by local artists, including photography, jewelry, ceramics, knit products, woodworking, stained glass and soy candles. Live music will provide ambiance for the evening.

Potters have been working for eight months to craft all the bowls, which are thrown, dried, trimmed, fired, cleaned and glazed, fired again and sanded before they're ready to be washed, packed and delivered to the church.

Many community members, businesses and organizations have donated supplies, time, effort and space to the project, Hawks said.

"It really is a collaborative effort," Hawks said. "I have wanted to do this since I started pottery… It's like something on your bucket list. It's been very, very heartwarming."

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com.

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