RochesterNovember 9, 2011
Local pottery studio hosts Empty Bowls event
By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer
ROCHESTER — When Firebrick Gallery and Pottery Studio owner Christine Laikind was in need, God’s Helping Hands of Michigan Inc. was there to provide support.
And now it’s her turn to give back, she says.
“They have been a wonderful help, not just to me, but for a lot of people,” she said.
Firebrick Gallery and Pottery Studio, 404 S. Main St., is hosting its second annual Empty Bowls fundraiser from 5-9 p.m. Nov. 17. Tickets, $10 for adults and $20 for families, will be sold for one-hour time increments from 5-9 p.m. All money raised will assist God’s Helping Hands of Michigan’s in its efforts to provide meals, clothing and support to families in southeastern Michigan.
The Empty Bowls premise is simple, Laikind said.
Before the event, independent potters, art associations, art schools and other community groups create handcrafted ceramic bowls and donate them for the cause.
“I’ve lost count. I don’t know how many bowls we’ve made, but I know it’s a lot,” she said.
Then, the night of the fundraiser, Firebrick Gallery and Pottery Studio will be transformed into a makeshift soup kitchen. Those who purchase a ticket will be served a simple meal of soup, bread and dessert donated by Rochester Mills Beer Co., E-Visual Communications, At Home Bakery and Brenda Pescia. Attendees will also get to take home a handcrafted bowl donated by local pottery artists, students artists from Lake Orion High School and members of the community as a symbol of the hunger and uncertainty struggling families face daily.
“This simple soup meal is to remind the public of families that struggle daily with what to put on the table because they are worried about whether or not they are going to have a roof over their head, so sometimes a simple soup and bread is all they can have,” she said.
Lisa Cain, president of God’s Helping Hands of Michigan, said the nonprofit provides free food and clothing to those in need in southeastern Michigan. She said the money raised at the event will go specifically for food, which the organization purchases for its clients from Gleaners Community Food Bank.
“We feel honored to benefit from the event and we are pleased to partner with Firebrick to help end hunger here in southeastern Michigan,” she said.
Cain said the nonprofit serves up to 200 families in a week and up to 800 in a month, depending on the month.
“The economy has really hit everyone hard, and there are a lot of families struggling. We have had to decrease the amount of food that we give them,” she said.
Last year, Laikind sold 192 tickets and raised more than $2,400 during the event. This year, she hopes to sell 215 tickets and raise $4,000.
“It’s all for a good cause. We’re fortunate and we’re blessed, so why not help those who are not put a little bit more than soup and bread on their table?” she said.
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