The 2018 Empty Bowls event to benefit the Food Pantry of Highlands and Fish and Loaves Food Pantry in Cashiers, N.C. is from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Oct. 7 at the Presbyterian Church in Highlands.
Potters from all over North Carolina and Georgia throw, pinch, smooth and glaze the handmade bowls that are given at the Empty Bowls’ Luncheon.
About 500 of the bowls come from potters crafting on their free time at the Bascom. 250 bowls will be used in Highlands and 250 will be used in Cashiers.
“We are so grateful for every volunteer who made this possible, especially those who made bowls,” said Emily Wilmarth, co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Highlands. “Everyone donated their time and effort, it’s a community-wide event. It’s a demonstration of the generosity and connectness of the community.”
Highlands’ donors include our own Town of Highlands Mayor Patrick Taylor and the many Dave Drake Ceramics Barn potters at the Bascom including Barbara Bannon, Colette Clark, Mary Cotterman, Janet Chmar, Kristin Edwards, Deborah Girard, Pat Moore, Peggy Payne, Martha Wright-Sutherland, Barbara Thomas, Ned Turnbull, Frank Vickery, Beth West and the Franklin Potters.
“I was a potter for Empty Bowls long before coming to Highlands,” said Taylor. “It’s a great way for artists/potters to support an important concern across the nation, which is food insecurity for many folks who struggle to make ends meet.”
Jennifer Regner works at the Pres. Church and also volunteers at the Highlands Emergency Council said many people in the area have to make tough decisions when budgeting for food.
“I see it all of the time,” said Regner. “There are a lot of people in need and food insecure.”
Frank Vickery, director of ceramics at the Bascom, said he had students making bowls during the gallery’s open studio time.
“We encouraged students to participate and make bowls for this and they did it gladly,” said Vickery. “As potters and woodturners we’re just doing our small part to give back. This is a bigger thing all over the country.”
Empty Bowls Chairwoman Jane Jerry said this annual event benefits the community in a couple of ways.
“Not only does this provide important funding, but it also increases awareness of this issue,” said Jerry.
Empty Bowls has raised approximately $10,000 each year over the past several years and Jerry said the support from the community is incredible.
“So many people help out, the Bascom, local restaurants for donating soup, all the volunteers, all the people who show up and support it, it’s amazing.”
Food Pantry Executive Direct Marty Rosenfield said Empty Bowls is the major annual fundraiser and provides 25 percent of the pantry’s annual budget.
“It’s an incredible community,” said Rosenfield. “I’m blessed with a network of volunteers and people who give their time and money to support this cause, and I’m very grateful.”
The Food Pantry of Highlands is located at the United Methodist Church at 328 South Street and is a program of the International Friendship Center. It currently serves approximately 50 families every week. Empty Bowls will also have several sculpted and woodturned bowls available in a silent auction.
The benefit luncheon is only possible through the generosity of volunteer potters, the Western Carolina Woodturners members, who donate bowls for the Silent Auction, and local restaurants, who donate soup. This year’s lineup of soup donors includes Fresser’s, Lakeside, the Methodist Church, Pescado’s, Marty Rosenfield and The Kitchen. Dessert Donors include Bryson’s, the Baptist Church, Old Edwards Inn, the Methodist Church and Martha Porter.
Article by Brian O’Shea
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