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Students compete to benefit Empty Bowls

High school ceramics students heeded the call of the Empty Bowls event, and their friendly competition will help feed those in need.

The seventh Empty Bowls event is from 4-7 p.m. Friday, April 26, in Wesley Hall at First United Methodist Church, 175 N. Main St. Proceeds will support various nonprofit organizations that address food insecurity in the Rogue Valley.

Bowls for the event are donated from a variety of people and organizations, but this year ceramics students at both North and South Medford high schools competed for most bowls made, sponsored by the Southern Oregon Clay Distributors, which awarded prizes.

North Medford ceramics teacher Lindsey Stout said she’s proud of her students.

“They came in after hours and even during spring break to make bowls,” Stout said. “Four students threw 40 bowls in a single day.”

Student Skyler Artale made 37 bowls.

“I wanted us to win the competition,” she said.

Student Joe Baures said he was happy to donate to the event.

“Usually our work just sits on a shelf at home,” he said. “It’s nice that the bowls will be going to a good cause.”

Hunger isn’t a distant reality for these students, organizer Herbert Rothschild said. At North Medford, 50% of the students are on free or reduced-price school lunches.

All of the students’ bowls will go to the event. Other bowl contributors include Clay Folk Potters, Ashland Art Center, Southern Oregon Clay Distributors and Southern Oregon University.

Bowl donations will be accepted until the day of the event. Contact Zoe Alowan at zoealowan@mind.net to donate bowls.

Proceeds from the event go toward Food Angels, Ashland Emergency Food Bank, ACCESS and Uncle Foods Diner.

The nonprofit organizations supply hundreds of thousands of meals to adults and children in the community who would otherwise go without.

For $25 attendees get to select a handmade bowl that they get to keep. Then they’re served a meal of soup, breads and other baked goods and a beverage from “celebrities.”

Student tickets cost $10 and children younger than 12 eat free. Tickets can be purchased at peacehouse.net.

Taking home an empty bowl is to remind attendees that they may leave with their bellies full, but food scarcity is a serious issue for hundreds of community residents, and the only way these people leave with their bellies full is from the help of these organizations.

Organizer Herbert Rothschild said Food Angels and Uncle Foods rely on money from this event as a significant portion of their annual budgets.

Local businesses Bella Union, C Street Bistro, Greenleaf, Larks, Maren Faye Catering, Pangea and Simple Café will donate soup.

La Baguette, Market of Choice, Organicos Bakery and Rise Up Organic Bakery will donate bread.

Celebrity waiters include Ashland city councilors Rich Rosenthal, Stefani Seffinger and Julie Akins; Police Chief Tighe O’Meara; Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Bloom; Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert; Oregon Shakespeare Festival legend Shirley Patton; former Ashland Tidings editor Bert Etling; Ashland philanthropists Barry and Kathryn Thalden; and David Wick and Irene Kai of the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission.

Sponsors of the event include the Earth and Humanity Foundation, the Haines Philanthropic Foundation, the Treetops Foundation, Spartan Management and TC Chevrolet.

For more information about the event, email info@peacehouse.net or call 541-482-9625.

Contact Tidings reporter Caitlin Fowlkes at cfowlkes@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4496. Follow her on Twitter @cfowlkes6.

Talent potter Marian Telerski loads her kiln with pottery and bowls for the 7th annual Empty Bowls Supper. Photo courtesy of the Peace House.{ }
North Medford High School students make bowls to donate to the Empty Bowls fundraiser. They're also competing against South Medford High for most bowls made. Photo by Herbert Rothschild.{ }