Fraser sixth-graders raise money for less fortunate

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published January 30, 2018

 Yolanda Lupo and her children, wAva Lupo, 7, and Anthony Lupo, 4, all of Fraser, pick out a bowl Jan. 25 at Fraser High School for the annual Empty Bowls event, which raises money for local causes.

Yolanda Lupo and her children, wAva Lupo, 7, and Anthony Lupo, 4, all of Fraser, pick out a bowl Jan. 25 at Fraser High School for the annual Empty Bowls event, which raises money for local causes.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

 Sixth-graders in the school district created the bowls.

Sixth-graders in the school district created the bowls.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

FRASER — The 11th edition of Fraser Public Schools’ Empty Bowls event galvanized a community and raised money for a good cause.

The event, which took place Jan. 25 at its usual location of the Fraser High School cafeteria, brought out sixth-grade students who created their own personal works of art. Guests were also invited to attend and eat bowls of soup for a nominal fee.

Melissa Garcia, an instructor at both Disney and Salk elementary schools in the district, said every sixth-grader makes a bowl out of clay, and then all bowls are glazed. Students use their imaginations to devise their own creations, having the opportunity to reserve the bowls ahead of time if it’s precious to them. The rest of the bowls were able to be purchased by guests, with proceeds later donated to a Macomb County charity.

This year, 400 sixth-graders participated in the project.

“There are a lot of creative types, and they do come up with ideas I would have never imagined,” Garcia said. “I’m always impressed with what they make. There are a lot of kids who take it seriously.”

Richards Middle School choir director Michael Perkins and high school music teacher Karen Hagerty led a group of 82 fifth- and sixth-graders in the Fraser Youth Choir to sing a trio of songs for those in attendance. A large band concert featuring 500 elementary students, as well as some high school students, played later that evening in the gym.

The choir knows about five to six songs, including choreography, and members are anticipating performing concerts this May. This is Perkins’ seventh Empty Bowls experience.

“The beautiful thing about this event is, most of the kids that are sixth-graders in the youth choir made the bowls,” Perkins said. “So they were going to be here already to give back to the community. So just to have them double dip and be here, it’s a win-win.”

He mentioned how a current Fraser High junior was in the youth choir years ago, and now she wants to be a music teacher. She was moved to tears by the performance.

“That’s the cool thing about Fraser: You see the cycle,” he said.

Cassidy Jones, a sixth-grader at Edison Elementary, made a bowl and also sings in the choir. She said her bowl was unique for its unusual edges. She was also happy to contribute to a great cause.

“I’ve always liked to sing. … I love being in the choir because I get to meet a lot of new people,” Jones said.

The district raised $850 that will be donated to MCREST.