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Bowls available at annual Empty Bowls Event

November 14, 2012
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Those attending the fifth annual Empty Bowls Event at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers on Dec. 1 will be able to select a handmade ceramic bowl created and donated by Lee County students.

The event, which will feature 700 bowls, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Admission is a $10 donation to the Harry Chapin Food Bank; the donation entitles the individual to select a bowl and receive a variety of soup selections from local restaurants.

Article Photos

A sampling of bowls made for the 2012 Empty Bowls Event in Fort Myers.

In addition, attendees will be able to participate in a silent auction of special bowls provided by artisans. Panera Bread is the presenting sponsor of the event.

Lehigh Senior High School art teacher Suzie Somogyi is serving as the chair for the Empty Bowls committee again this year.

Students at the following Lee County schools are making bowls: James Stephens International Academy, Paul Lawrence Dunbar Middle School, North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts, Lehigh Acres Middle School, Trafalgar Middle School, Edison Park Elementary School, Lehigh Senior High School, Hispanic Honor Society Volunteers, Mariner High School, Orange River Elementary School, Franklin Park Elementary School, student volunteers of Jennifer Hambling, Alva Middle School, Cypress Lake High School, Sanibel School, San Carlos Park Elementary School and Canterbury School.

Ten restaurants to date will provide soups for the event, and Panera Bread Cafe will offer bread to accompany the soups.

Early commitments include: Jason's Deli, vegetarian vegetable; University Grill, pasta fagioli; Prawnnbroker, Manhattan clam chowder; Panera Bread, broccoli cheddar; Oasis, chicken noodle; LaMotta's, minestrone; Mel's Diner, turkey noodle; Christof's on McGregor, acorn squash; Sweet Tomatoes, chicken pot pie; and McGregor Cafe, to be announced.

Celebrities will be the servers.

To date, celebrity servers include Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson; Lee County Commissioners John Manning and Tammy Hall; School Board Members Mary Fischer, Tom Scott and Don Armstrong; Lee County School Board Superintendent Joseph Burke; Lydia Black, Alliance for the Arts; Doug MacGregor, cartoonist, writer and illustrator; Lois Thome, WINK-TV; Allman, Walmart; Robert Van Winkle, NBC-2; Francesca Donlan, the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel VCB; and Stephanie Davis, Downtown Diva.

Attendees will be entertained with performances by Varsity Lakes Middle School Step Team, Trafalgar Elementary Recorder Group, Lehigh Senior High School Dancers, Paul Lawrence Dunbar Jazz Band, Oak Hammock Middle School Dance Team and Fort Myers Middle Academy Guitars Group.

Pottery demonstrations at the event will be provided by Chas Bean and Theresa West-Taylo.

Art teacher John Hartom initiated the Empty Bowls project in 1990-91, when he joined a drive to raise charitable funds in his Michigan community. Hartom's idea was to organize a charitable event to give artists and art students a way to make a difference.

Hartom's students made ceramic bowls in their high school art classes. The finished products were then used as individual serving pieces for a fund-raising meal of soup and bread. Guests kept the "empty bowl" as a symbol of the need to feed the hungry.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families in need through a network of 160 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties that provide food to more than 30,000 people monthly.

More than 1 million pounds of food are distributed monthly. For every dollar donated, about $6 in food value goes back to the community.

For additional information about or to contribute financially to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, contact 334-7007 or vist the Web site online at:



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