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November 14, 2013 8:40 am

Empty Bowls, full hearts

Written by Tribune Staff

NWC ceramics student Dani Turner of Wolf Point, Mont., smoothes out rough edges on the bottoms of some of the pottery bowls created for the Empty Bowls fundraiser, which will take place at The Commons on Tuesday. NWC student and faculty volunteers have been working for weeks to create more than 400 bowls for the event. That work is done outside of class time. NWC ceramics student Dani Turner of Wolf Point, Mont., smoothes out rough edges on the bottoms of some of the pottery bowls created for the Empty Bowls fundraiser, which will take place at The Commons on Tuesday. NWC student and faculty volunteers have been working for weeks to create more than 400 bowls for the event. That work is done outside of class time. Tribune photo by Ilene Olson

Fundraiser to help battle local hunger set for Tuesday at The Commons

An empty bowl can mean a full stomach. That’s what ceramics instructor Elaine DeBuhr and her Northwest College students are banking on Tuesday when they bring back their Empty Bowl fundraiser for the Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes (PVLF) food bank.

DeBuhr and her students will serve a simple meal of soup and bread for $10 and ask guests to keep their empty bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world. The ceramic bowls are all hand thrown by DeBuhr, adjunct instructors Dana Childs and Steve Shrepferman, NWC alumni and students.

The first come-first served meal will be dished up from 5:30-7 p.m. at The Commons at Pond Park. NWC ceramics students and Art Club members will serve a choice of three soups, including a gluten-free vegetarian option, and fresh bread, all prepared by Aramark Food Services.

DeBuhr’s group of ceramic artists has been putting in a lot of hours outside of class time to reach their goal of 400 bowls. A wide variety of different sizes, shapes, textures, and glazes will be available for guests to choose from. The functional pieces of artwork were each collaboratively created and bear no individual signatures.

“It is my hope that people will appreciate all the bowls equally for their handmade qualities and for the project as a whole,” DeBuhr said. “This project is a way for my students and the larger community to join hands in helping the hungry families right here at home. I hope we can match or exceed the $4,790 raised at the 2011 event.”

The PVLF was launched in the Powell community in 1986. Operated by dedicated volunteers, they hold two annual food drives to help stock and replenish the pantry shelves during the year. The U.S. Postal Service collects nonperishable donations in the spring, and a variety of groups help with the pre-Halloween drive; however, local donations are accepted year-round. The empty bowls event provides yet another opportunity for the community to offer a hand up to folks in need.

DeBuhr invites the community to come out and support the Empty Bowls fundraiser for Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes.


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