SV High Art students demo pottery skills at a past 'Filling Empty Bowls' event. Sun-Argus file photo
SV High Art students demo pottery skills at a past 'Filling Empty Bowls' event. Sun-Argus file photo

Submitted by Becky Leland, SV Schools

SPRING VALLEY, WI – The planning has been months in the making, and everyone involved in the upcoming “Filling Empty Bowls” event scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 2017 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. is hoping for a large turnout.

Spring Valley Elementary School art teacher, Becky Leland said, “We are excited to share with the community our third annual Empty Bowls Event!”

The Empty Bowls Project is an international effort to raise money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. The project started 26 years ago and has spread worldwide. Spring Valley Schools joined the project two years ago and now is again hosting its own Empty Bowls event.

Leland and Spring Valley Middle-High School art teacher Jim Herold, music teacher, Donna Schwartz and food service employees, Amy Fisher and Barb Smith are in charge of this fundraiser.

Herold described last year’s event which raised over $6,800 as an “Amazing success” adding, “We want to bring more awareness to the problem of hunger in our community. We can help students see how easy it is to help people they may never see or know.”

He continued, "There are two goals here with this program. The short term goal is trying to provide food now for people that need it. But by annually practicing community service and showing students how to care for others, we hope to meet a long term goal of developing a lifelong ethic in our students. This could be their way of making their community stronger just because it will be what people do.”

At this year’s event, Herold and Leland are hoping to raise as much money or more than they did last year. They want to give $2,000 to the local food bank immediately, and when fresh produce grown locally is available this summer, they will use funds to supply fresh produce to the food pantry.

The community is invited to come to the school to have a meal which consists of delicious soups prepared by Barb Smith and Amy Fisher. Choices include Chicken Wild Rice or Tomato Basil (vegetarian) soups or chili. Milk and dessert along with bread, donated by the Spring Valley Bakery will also be available. Take-outs are also an option.

If you prefer to skip the meal, simply come to buy pottery or enjoy the entertainment. According to Schwartz, there will be small ensembles, speeches, skits in the gym, a pottery demonstration, face painting and a place for children to draw.

Bowls made by the students in grades second-12 will be for sale along with a 50/50 raffle,

Leland, in a letter to parents wrote, " you won’t want to miss this glimpse at what is going on in our schools!”

This year, a portion of the money raised will go to The Backpack Program. “If there is a need, food can be sent home to our students so they can have meals to eat on the weekends,” said Herold adding, “Our administration, the food service, local churches and the Youth Group are all supporting this idea. “ Bill & Brenda Karnes, Todd Sauve, Diane Hurtgen, Elsie Obermueller, Brandon Colbenson, and Amanda Lynum volunteer their time to make the backpacks program work.  “The food shelf support with the backpacks program shows that this truly is a community enterprise and the Empty Bowls event funds it all, “ says Herold.

If you cannot attend on Tuesday, April 4 2017, but would still like to help, checks made out to “Empty Bowls” can be sent to either the Spring Valley Elementary School (200 Sabin Avenue) or the Spring Valley Middle-High School (S1450 CTH CC, Spring Valley, WI 54767).

As Leland said, “Empty Bowls is an evening of some food, some art, but all heart.” Mark your calendars now and come out to support this most worthy cause.