By Ann Cipperly
While the Empty Bowls Project is currently holding presales, starting Saturday, December 11, a variety of additional activities will be on offer for the 12 Days of Donation at the Leisure Center on Denson Drive in Opelika. Each day, a drawing will be organized for free handcrafted pottery, and special items will be presented. Bowls can be purchased and will include a ticket for a free bowl of delicious soup and bread during the Empty Bowls main event on February 12. All proceeds will be donated to the Eastern Alabama Food Bank.
Bowls created by approximately 45 potters will be offered for $ 10 to $ 20. This year’s new items are hand-painted children’s bowls and microwave-safe soup pots made by the Sewing Ministry at Trinity United Methodist Church.
The late Ron Speedy crafted special Lake Martin-related pottery that will be auctioned on February 12, along with other unique artwork and an elegant four-course dinner. Soup from local restaurants and cooks will be served indoors and outdoors in a tent.
The ninth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for the food bank began when Sherie Spain, director of the pottery department at Opelika Leisure Center, read the story of the event which began in 1990 as a class project in Michigan. The class made ceramic bowls for sale and served soup for a food drive. The idea caught on and other Empty Bowls events took place across the country.
“I contacted the food bank and they liked the idea,” Sherie said. “I thought it would be good to have the pottery communities of Opelika and Auburn work together. ”
While the Rocky Brook Potters at Opelika and the Ceramics Studio at the Dean Road Recreation Center in Auburn host the event every two years, potters from both groups create bowls for each event. When the Opelika Potters hosted the event two years ago, they raised $ 21,000 for the East Alabama Food Bank.
“I’ve always been interested in pottery, so I took a few Sherie classes,” said Kitty Greene, publicity manager for the Opelika Empty Bowls project. “It was a way for me to get involved in the community. I wanted to do something to help, and for me the Food Bank is really special.
Anyone who purchases a bowl in advance can bring their ticket and attend the February 12 event at no additional cost. Everyone who buys a ticket receives a bowl to keep in memory of the less fortunate in the community and to remember that “no child deserves an empty bowl”.
“The Empty Bowls event allows us to select a cute, handmade bowl that serves a soup meal, but this little bowl is more than just my meal,” said Martha Henk, executive director of the East Alabama Food Bank. . “By procuring food through local donations and the national network of food banks, every dollar donated to the food bank allows us to distribute the equivalent of seven meals to people in need. I like the strong concept of an empty bowl.
“The bowl for an Empty Bowls event sits on my desk at work. I see him every day. It concretely reminds me that there are empty bowls in our community and that there is something specific that I can do to fill another person’s bowl.
The balls are on sale at the Opelika Recreation Center from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.