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Annual Empty Bowls fundraiser of pottery sales to be held Saturday
Friday, November 18, 2011

Empty Bowls
Just some of the 800-plus ceramic bowls ready for the 2011 Empty Bowls Fundraiser.  


Questions regarding the 2011 Empty Bowls Fundraiser may be directed to Marvin Bjurlin, at 716-672-9151 or email or Ron Nasca, Mudslingers at 716-672-6833. More information is also available at



The Fredonia Potters Co-op presents the 2011 Empty Bowls annual fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the St. Hedwig's Social Center of Blessed Mary Angela Parish at 324 Townsend Street in Dunkirk, NY.

At the event, people pick out a bowl of their choice, make a tax-deductible contribution, and are served a simple meal of soup in the bowl. Subsequently the bowl is washed and wrapped to take home to be kept or perhaps given as a gift.

The bowls come in sizes designed to acknowledge contributions of $10, $20, and $30. There will also be several specially designed bowls that will be raffled during the event.

Students from the Culinary Arts Program at BOCES will prepare several special soups out of ingredients donated by area gardeners and merchants. At least one of the soups will be vegetarian. Live entertainment will be organized by popular area musician Tom Gestwicki.

This event is sponsored by the Fredonia Potters Co-op, a group of the area’s professional and amateur potters. Many of these individuals work together at Mudslingers, the pottery studio owned and operated by Ron Nasca in downtown Fredonia. Others in the group work in their own studios.

This year, the Fredonia Potters Co-op and a few local potters have created more than 800 bowls. The artists include: Marv Bjurlin, Ron Nasca, Michele Ballachino, Dale Bowen, Stephanie Brash, Lucy Bryant, Ann Burns, Paula Coats, Phyllis East, Cynthia Fitzgerald, Tony Georgakis, Doreen Gould, Kathy Gullo, Debbie Kotar, Ted Lee, Marc Levy, Marcia Merrins, Paul Murphy, Vicky Parkes, Cindy Recklin, Jim Reno, Pat Reno, Carol Samuelson, Sally Turner, and Gary Vellan.

While numerous individuals have created the beautiful, one of a kind ceramic bowls, none are signed by the maker. Instead, they are imprinted with the “Empty Bowls” logo thus continuing to remind the user that there are hungry persons in the world.

Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger. The basic premise is simple: Potters and other craftspeople, educators and others work with the community to create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to a simple meal of soup. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. The money raised is donated to local food pantries working to end hunger.

What is unique about this exciting and worthwhile effort is that absolutely all of the talent, time and materials used are donated and one hundred percent of the proceeds go to feed the hungry through local food pantries. This “keep it local” policy is the only stipulation made by the now international organization “Empty Bowls.” The organization was formed in 1990 by John Hartom and his wife Lisa Blackburn when they were teaching at Bloomfield Hills Lahser High School in Michigan. They continue as volunteers to maintain a web site documenting the many “Empty Bowls” fundraisers around the country. Individuals interested in learning more about this remarkable phenomenon may visit the site:

Questions regarding the 2011 Empty Bowls Fundraiser may be directed to Marvin Bjurlin, at 716-672-9151 or email or Ron Nasca, Mudslingers at 716-672-7866. More information is also available at


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