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Empty Bowls Fundraiser

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Ceramics and culinary students will join forces to host their second annual Empty Bowls fundraiser on Nov. 16 from 3:30-5 p.m., in the Upper Commons. “Empty Bowls is a worldwide organization where artists create bowls,” ceramics teacher Felicia Lahart said. “The community can then purchase food, like soup or something within the bowls, and all the money will go toward community members that are needing food or support.”
This year, all proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to the Des Plaines Self-Help Closet and Pantry. “It’s going to be a true Empty Bowls event, which means that it will go to support hunger relief,” Lahart said.
Empty Bowls raises awareness for local and worldwide hunger and has provided millions of dollars for soup kitchens, food banks, and other meal support programs. Last year, Maine West’s Empty Bowls fundraiser donated to the Malala Fund and other charitable organizations.
Like last year, this year’s Empty Bowls fundraiser will feature unique handmade student bowls such as slab bowls and soup bowls. “All of the ceramics students are involved in this, no matter what level they are in,” senior Natalia Habczyk said. “We make one or two soup bowls using techniques like wheel throwing or laying slabs of clay over a bowl mold.”
Ceramics students will utilize these various techniques to hand-build their bowls, but this year they will be adding something different: pebble pots. To make pebble pots, “we’re pushing a bunch of small particles into a ready-made bowl,” Lahart said. “Then we put a slab of clay – a pancake of clay – over it, and blend it.” Based on each artist’s preferences, some bowls will go through a process called glazing which makes the bowl more glossy, and some others will add textures to their bowls. The end goal, though, is to create a bowl that is practical. “They need to be able to hold food, be stable, and overall look presentable,” junior Maya Woroszylo said.
To complement the bowls, Maine West culinary students will work to create meals for the fundraiser. “Our kids will provide pastas and cornbread,” culinary teacher Alissa Zobrist said. During the fundraiser, staff will participate in a chili cook-off, where the chili will then be provided for the meals. “We will have donations from some clubs that are going to be giving us fix-ins like sour cream, cheese, onions, that kind of stuff, too,” Lahart added.
For a donation of $20, participants will not only be able to choose and keep their own unique bowl but also enjoy a late afternoon meal. “I think it’s good that the students learn to give back to the community and connect us back to the community,” Lahart said.

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