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Wheels turn to fight hunger

The empty bowls that attendees will take home from an upcoming fundraiser serve as reminders that many people around the world are hungry.

Community Education Director Ernie Pines, along with students, teachers and community members, has been busy at the potter's wheel making the bowls. Pines estimates the group will need 1,200 for the Nov. 17 event, which benefits hunger-fighting causes.

Students at Woodbury, East Ridge and Park high schools are making pottery bowls for the event.

In 2006, School District 833 Community Education held an Empty Bowls event to raise money for an orphanage in Uganda. More than 600 people attended and $8,000 was donated.

Those who attended got a bowl of soup, bread, water and a handmade bowl to take home as a reminder about the reality of hunger.

Some of the money from this year's event will be donated internationally, as in the past, and some will stay local, going to the Friends In Need Food Shelf, which serves residents in Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park and Grey Cloud Island Township, and other local organizations that provide food, said Gretchen Carlson, community education adult education coordinator, who is chairing the Empty Bowls event.

Local celebrities such as School Board member Ron Kath, WCCO Radio meteorologist Mike Lynch and Woodbury High School Principal Linda Plante will serve soup, along with area church pastors and school principals.

Park High School International Baccalaureate students and the school's step team are making a video to highlight hunger awareness. A representative from Feed My Starving Children is among the guests invited to talk about the need, said Carlson.

This event is also different from the one held in 2006 because the planning committee has members from Park High School's International Baccalaureate program and students from East Ridge and Woodbury high schools.

Food for the event is being donated by Great Harvest Bread Company, Dorothy Ann's Bakery, American Motor Sports Grill, Tinnucci's Restaurant and The Pointe with all proceeds going to food charities.

If you go

Empty Bowls will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at the District Program Center at 8400 East Point Douglas Road in Cottage Grove.

Tickets for the event are $10 for adults, $5 for children or $30 per family. For information, or to register, go to

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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