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“Empty Bowls” event Dec. 6 to benefit Friendly Kitchen
Monday, December 01, 2008

Empty Bowls 2007
Empty Bowls is a national campaign to raise money for the hungry. The local event on Dec. 6 will benefit the Friendly Kitchen in Dunkirk, N.Y.

“Empty Bowls” is an annual fund raising event held all over the world. Potters everywhere gather to create hundreds of one of a kind ceramic bowls that are given to persons willing to make a modest contribution to a local charity serving food to the hungry.

This effort, sponsored by the Fredonia Potters Co-op, has occurred here in the Dunkirk/Fredonia area for many years, each time benefiting the “Friendly Kitchen” of the Chautauqua County Rural Ministry.

The 2008 Empty Bowls event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. John’s United Church of Christ, 733 Central Ave., Dunkirk. As is traditional in most Empty Bowls fund raisers, folks make a tax-deductible contribution, choose a bowl they like and are served a simple meal of soup in it. Subsequently, the bowl is washed and wrapped for them to take home. This year, the bowls will come in sizes designed to acknowledge contributions of $10, $20, and $30. While numerous individuals have created the bowls, none are signed. Instead, they are imprinted with the “Empty Bowls” logo.

This year, more than ever, SUNY Fredonia folks are participating in the event. Department of Visual Arts and New Media Assistant Professor Hidetoshi  Sadohara and his wife, Adjunct Instructor Linda Cordell, each made bowls. They were joined by Megan Szalkowski, Jessica Venticinque, Jacqueline Woodrow, Ashley Best, Adrienne Gates, Bethany Liebars and Ashley Winchell, all students currently enrolled in the Ceramics curriculum.

Also participating are Gary Vellam, Onge Warner, Lisa Epolito, Dale Bowen, Don Seymour, and Ron Nasca, all of whom studied ceramics with recently retired Distinguished Teaching Professor Marvin Bjurlin.

Significantly, several other SUNY Fredonia individuals are making bowls for the event. All of these are students of Ron Nasca at his community clay center, “Mudslingers” in downtown Fredonia, including University Police Chief Ann McCarron Burns (Public Safety), Dr. Ted Lee (Biology), Dr. David Rudge and Dr. Paul Murphy (Music).

Several other community students at Mudslingers as well as other professional potters residing in Chautauqua County have made bowls for this year’s event.

The soups to be served will be prepared by “For Your Pleasure” caterers of Dunkirk. Ingredients donated by area gardeners and merchants will be used to prepare three different soups at least one of which will be vegetarian. Live entertainment will be provided by SUNY Fredonia Professor Emeritus Dick and Carmen Gilman, Tom Gestwicki (Publication Services), and others.

All of the time and materials used are donated and 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Friendly Kitchen. The 2007 event raised over $5,000 and it is expected that this year the Empty Bowls drive will be even more successful.

Questions regarding the Empty Bowls project can be directed to Professor Emeritus Bjurlin, coordinator of the effort, at 672-9151 or e-mail

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