A collaboration between Ponoka Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) and the Ponoka Potters Guild brought much-needed funds to the Ponoka Food Bank.
Dubbed Empty Bowls, the event was held Oct. 25 at the Ponoka Legion where folks could come in for a soup lunch in exchange for a hand-made bowl. The event raised approximately $2,000 — surpassing last year’s numbers of $1,700 — for the Ponoka Food Bank but also brought community groups together for a special volunteer and career fair.
Along with community and support groups at the fair were also speakers and companies looking at hiring new employees.
FCSS program co-ordinator Shelly Van Eaton said working with the potters guild has been an exciting way to reach out to the community. “I think the more aware people are of the event, people want to help out in the community.”
She feels there is a real crisis in Alberta and the fundraiser, along with the community and trade fair, called October Zest, add to benefits for residents. “We brought in the rest of the resources we see coming through our doors daily.”
“We brought it all together and hopefully this will be a yearly thing.”
Potters guild president Sandra Simpson said Empty Bowls not only allows local artists to showcase their work but it benefits a local organization. The event also highlights that the guild is still a viable group in Ponoka.
“Everybody’s so excited and there’s people coming back looking for matching bowls,” added Simpson.
The process of making a new a bowl to drying it and eventually firing it takes about two weeks and guild members put in the time and hours to create some lasting bowls.
Dean Hill, chairperson of the Ponoka Food Bank, is grateful for events such as this. The need for food hampers and free food is growing considering the time of year and Hill says the community’s support of the food bank is something to be proud of.
“Just the people being involved here help a good cause,” said Hill.