Eight years ago a friend invited me to attend a new event with her in Nevada City that sounded like fun.
Although we met through work in Sacramento, our mutual love of food and preference to live in Nevada County quickly bonded us as friends. Our work sometimes required us to stand outside for long stretches of time. In the cold, rainy months, we would often pass the time talking about favorite foods.
So when she learned of the inaugural Empty Bowl fundraiser in Nevada City to benefit the homeless, we couldn’t stay away.
Getting to eat deliciously warm soup on a cold winter day, being entertained by Utah Phillips and walking away with a beautiful handmade ceramic bowl was nice, but helping support the local homeless community was even better.
Although the Empty Bowl benefit has grown in seven years since and changed locations, it still retains the great community atmosphere of the first one — warm, welcoming, happy and hopeful about the fundraiser’s success. The great bowl collection I’ve developed is just a bonus.
According to Hospitality House, the beneficiary of this event, nobody knows exactly how many potters contribute to Empty Bowl. Some are donated anonymously.
“It is known, however, that Karin Givon of Nevada City has been coordinating the bowl collection for many years. Furthermore, potters Yvon Dockter, Chic Lotz, Judy Mayfield, Richard Hotchkiss and many other dedicated potters have donated thousands of bowls over the years, often recruiting students and friends to help decorate the one-of-a-kind bowls. ‘Makers’ at Curious Forge and members of the Artists’ Studio in the Foothills are also strong contributors. Several Hospitality House guests also volunteer to make bowls,” according to a statement from the nonprofit organization.
To keep guests entertained while selecting their special bowl from the hundreds on display, singer/guitarist Heather MacAdam has organized a musical smorgasbord, including the Blended Metal Saxophones ensemble, harpist Lisa Stine with flutist Phyllis Grant, and singer-songwriter Thomas Spellman.
In the dining room, Beaucoup Chapeaux, The Sierrabillys, Willie Tango, Halfpence and Haypenny, Jessica Agnew, Aedryan Gantt, Hayley Pritchard and Joe Hammel will provide music as well, according to Hospitality House.
This year’s Empty Bowl benefit will be from noon to 2 p.m. and again from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Peace Lutheran Church in Grass Valley.
Tickets are $20 per person and includes a bowl. Children 12 and under eat free, although that doesn’t include a bowl. For more information about the Empty Bowl benefit, call Zalkin at 530-205-9363. For more information about Hospitality House, call 530-271-7144.
For more information about both, go to www.hhshelter.org.
Features Editor Brett Bentley can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 530-477-4219.