The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 13, 2012

Your Letters: Empty Bowls feeds the hungry

From staff reports

— Thank you, Joplin, for supporting Phoenix Fired Arts First Annual Empty Bowls fundraiser in November.

We were overwhelmed with the generosity and enthusiasm with which it was received. Special thanks are deserved by the 41 local potters who made and donated over 600 ceramic bowls. Many thanks for the delicious soup and bread donated by Instant Karma, Kinnaree, Mohaska Farmhouse, Mythos, Granny Shaffer’s, Festival Mexican, Orient Express, Panera Bread, Peggy Lierheimer and Denise Lambert. Thanks to SMB, which donated money for clay, and to Dixie Printing for our beautiful color posters.

Thanks to the employees from SMB who washed and bagged bowls, to Midwest Clay Artists and members of Phoenix Fired Art, Crosslines, Watered Gardens and Salvation Army who cleaned, served soup and directed parking. The event was much more so popular and well attended than we expected that we ran out of soup at 7 p.m. People arriving after that still gave cheerfully and generously. We asked for a minimum donation of $15, but most people, recognizing the value of our bowls and soup, rounded up. We held a drawing for some specialty bowls as well. Our gross receipts were $13,000, so after expenses we presented checks to Crosslines, Salvation Army and Watered Gardens for $4,060.73 each. This will feed many hungry people this holiday season.

We are already planning Empty Bowls for the Third Thursday in November 2013 (one week before Thanksgiving).

We will have two sessions and serve at both lunch and at dinner. Several more restaurants asked to join and several of our participating ones have volunteered to double their donation.

We promise we will be ready to handle a bigger crowd and will shoot for creating 1,000 bowls. We are getting started now. I threw the first four bowls yesterday. If you attended the event we invite you to come back and visit Phoenix when it is less crowded and you can see it better. Join us for our holiday open house Dec. 20 and consider signing up for a class to make some bowls to donate for next year. Our next session of classes begins Jan. 2.

Heather Grills

owner/ executive director

Phoenix Fired Art