DUNKIRK - Thirty-two Chautauqua Area Potters made over 1,000 bowls they donated to the Empty Bowls event. More than 600 people attended the annual event, which has been held for almost 30 years. The proceeds from the fundraiser stay locally to fight hunger. Chautauqua Rural Ministry receives the largest portion of the money.
At 11 a.m the doors to Blessed Mary Angela's Social Center opened for the event. The event was over at 2 p.m. For most of the time, the hall was filled with people and activity.
On one side, the bowls for sale were displayed on tables. Those attending milled around the tables considering which bowl to select for purchase and comparing the wide variety of shapes, pottery techniques, and glazing. As the day progressed, the collection of bowls became smaller and was consolidated onto progressively fewer tables.
Paula Coats, left, and Marcia Merrins volunteer at the recent Empty Bowls event in Blessed Mary Angela’s Social Center, Dunkirk.
P-J photos by Diane Chodan
The kitchen area at the back of the hall was set up to accommodate volunteers who sterilized the bowls, those who served soup, and those who washed out the bowls afterward.
The culinary students at LoGuidice Center, under the supervision of chef David Caccamise, prepared the soups that are such an important part of the fundraiser. Students also volunteered to ladle out the nourishing and delicious food.
The other side of the hall was designated as the dining area. Bread complemented the meal. Coffee, provided by Gina Kron, owner of Fredonia-Dunkirk area Tim Hortons', and cookies were also available.
Those attending greeted their friends. Many stayed for the music which was coordinated by Tom Gestwicki. He performed with two other musicians. Others that provided music were a guitar quartet and "Much More Chill" a vocal group, both from SUNY Fredonia.
After the event ended, Project coordinator Marv Bjurlin was quick to give credit to all who contributed to its success. Summing up the event he wrote, "Once again, the Chautauqua Area Potters report a huge success in their Empty Bowls Project held last Saturday. They wish to thank all of the members of the community, businesses and individuals alike that supported the event."
Bjurlin particularly appreciated the contribution of the BOCES students who created the soups and volunteered to serve them.
He reported that the funds raised increased by 25 percent over last year.