Kew Gardens Residents to Hold 'Empty Bowls' Charity Event

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on October 1, 2013 2:05pm 

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 Kew Gardens residents will paint bowls to help the hungry.
Kew Gardens Empty Bowls Event
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QUEENS — Kew Gardens residents will spin a potter’s wheel for charity.

During the “Paint a Bowl, Donate a Bowl” campaign, held at The Potter’s Wheel studio, locals will have the chance to show off their artistic talents and help feed the hungry at the same time.

Residents can come to the studio and decorate the bowls that they will later donate for a charity event, which will be held at the New Homestead Home for Adults in Kew Gardens on Oct. 20.

At the $15 event, the proceeds of which go to charity, locals will share bread and soup, the organizers said.

After the meal, the dishes will be washed and attendees will pick their favorite bowls and take them home "as a reminder that someone else’s bowl is always empty," the organizers said.

The Empty Bowls Event, held about a week before the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, will also honor victims of the hurricane.

Some bowls, including one that has the signature of celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, will be also auctioned off during the event.

All the proceeds will go to The River Fund, a Richmond Hill-based nonprofit and food pantry, which has been helping people affected by Hurricane Sandy. The organization continues to provide food for about 4,000 people living in the areas hit by the storm, including the Rockaways and Coney Island, said Otto Starzmann of The River Fund.

The event is inspired by a campaign started in 1990 by a high school art teacher from Michigan, John Hartom, who asked his students to make ceramic bowls for a fundraising meal. The idea prompted a number of similar events around the world, including in Canada, Germany and New Zealand.

Last year, during their first fundraising event Kew Gardens residents made about 300 bowls and raised more than $4,400, said Grace Anker, the owner of The Potter’s Wheel.

“People felt really good about it and there was a lot of enjoyment in terms of creating the bowls,” said Anker.

Those interested in participating can paint bowls at the studio on Oct. 6 and Oct. 15, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., at The Potter's Wheel, 120-33 83 Ave., Kew Gardens. For more information or to reserve a spot, call 718-441-6614. Bowls are free to the first 40 people (otherwise, $10 per bowl for supplies). The Kew Gardens Empty Bowls Event will take place on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 4-6 p.m., at the New Homestead Home for Adults at 82-45 Grenfell St. ($15 donation).

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