CCC makes ceramic bowls for fund-raiser at Strange Brew
Making a difference in their community, the California Conservation Corps traded their hard hats and chainsaws in for clay and a potter’s wheel. Their goal is to make handmade ceramic bowls, fill them with homemade soup and donate all profits to local organizations. On April 6 the CCC will conduct an Empty Bowls fund-raiser, with the goal of raising $1,000 for the South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center and The Family Resource Center. The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. April 6 at Strange Brew, 2660 Lake Tahoe Blvd. The suggested donation is $10, which includes soup, bread and a bowl of choice. All proceeds from the event will be equally distributed between the Family Resource Center and the Women’s Center. For more information or to volunteer, contact Jennifer Gurecki or Nathan Skinner at (530) 541-5682. The idea of Empty Bowls was spawned in 1990 by a high school teacher in Michigan to help his students raise money to support a food drive. Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread, and were invited to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world. By the following year the originators had developed this concept into Empty Bowls, project to provide support for food banks, soup kitchens, and other organizations that fight hunger. The Imagine/RENDER Group, a 501(c)3 organization, was created to promote the project. Since then, Empty Bowls events have been held throughout the world and millions of dollars have been raised to combat hunger. “At the California Conservation Corps, we believe that hunger is more than an empty stomach. Those who do not have enough to eat often fall victim to many other social injustices. Empty Bowls is not only a means by which to raise money, but also to educate the community about the issues surrounding hunger. We also hope to promote solidarity and support within this community. There are many people in need in the basin,” Gurecki said. “When people come together and forget about all their differences, a lot can be accomplished for the community,” said Nathan Skinner, former Corpsmember. “We need to realize that if we do something constructive with those few extra hours in the week, a lot can be achieved.” What began as an overwhelming task slowly progressed into tangible results — more than 100 handmade bowls. The LTCC ceramics staff and students have been instrumental in the success thus far. Without them, the number of bowls produced would have been minimal. “I feel the ceramics class was a wonderful experience to be involved in helping the community, uniting with different people and exploring art techniques,” said Shea Mayfield, corpsmember. “It gave us the benefit of accomplishing a task as a group to help others.” Through the donations from the ceramic students and a ceramics studio in Santa Cruz, the vision of the event’s coordinators, Gurecki and Skinner, is possible. “What began as a simple conversation between Nathan and myself has been transformed into an amazing experience for our corpsmembers, and for our community. We wanted to do something that would not only engage our corpsmembers, but also greatly benefit people who live in Tahoe. Our goal is to raise $1,000 and involve as many people as possible in all steps of the event,” Gurecki said. The California Conservation Corps urges the community to join them in what they see as a critical time in the world. As we move toward budgets and spending that can often forget the organizations that provide vital services, it is extremely important that the community support them. “Unfortunately we live in a time where money is important. We as a community struggle when programs and services fail because of budget concerns. We know that the Women’s Center and the Family Resource Center are two organizations that need monetary and community support to succeed,” Gurecki said.