What could be better on a cold, winter day than a hot bowl of soup? How about enjoying that soup while benefiting a community charity at the same time and getting a hand-crafted bowl to take home?
For the second consecutive year, the community will have the opportunity to do just that, by attending the Fill-A-Bowl fundraiser at the Coudersport Alliance Church on Feb. 25.
Coudersport Elementary Art teacher Jenna Elliot had her second through sixth grade students create ceramic bowls for last year’s inaugural event.
“There were so many bowls leftover, I didn’t have my students create any new bowls this year,” Elliot said. “So, if you know a student in grades three to seven this year, there is a chance there’s a bowl that they helped sculpt or glaze within the mix (this year.)”
Sixth-grader Ysabel Brown made one of the bowls last year that is available for purchase this year.
“It makes me feel good that people can come and enjoy a meal and take home a bowl that students helped make and then the money goes to a good cause, like the food bank,” Ysabel said.
Ashlyn McNamara also made one of the bowls for purchasing and echoed her classmate’s sentiment.
“I think it’s good that people can come enjoy a good meal and then the money raised goes towards helping other people to enjoy good meals too,” Ashlyn said.
Elliot said approximately 150 creations will be available for purchase, by donation, to benefit God’s Food Pantry. The suggested donation is $4 per person, which includes the meal and a ceramic bowl to take home. Folks will have a variety of soups from which to choose, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
“From basics like chicken noodle and broccoli cheddar to unique flavors like cheeseburger or tortellini soup,” Elliot said. “There should be at least 15 varieties to choose from. In addition to soups, we will also have bread, desserts and beverages available. This is a really cheap dinner.”
The soups, this year, will be served in disposable bowls, in which to eat at the event, or in to-go containers.
“Attendees have the option to eat first, or select their complementary ceramic bowl first,” Elliot said. “You will get to look through and choose a bowl to take home. All of the bowls have been glazed with food-safe glaze, which means they are safe to eat out of, although some only hold enough to feed a tiny animal.”
Last year, the fundraiser brought in $2,300, which Elliot is hoping to achieve again.“I am hoping to raise the same amount, if not more than last year,” Elliot said. “I had a few pretty big donors last year, which helped that number soar into the thousands. I am anticipating a good turn out, but you never know.”
Elliot said she wanted to hold this kind of fundraiser because giving back to those in need is important.
I wanted to do this fundraiser because our food bank is a charity that helps thousands of people in our community, by providing food to needy families,” Elliot said. “You never know what someone’s situation is, or if they have enough food on their table to feed their children. You also never know if that will ever be yourself in that situation. I feel strongly about helping this organization because they help so many.”
Last year, Elliott said she not only had her students donate their creations, but elementary school staff, parents and other community members donated soups, desserts and their time.
“This year, I also have a lot of volunteers willing to donate soups and help work the event,” Elliot said. “Without the help of these community members, this event would not be possible and for that, I am very grateful.”