Writer Amanda Christmann
Photography Courtesy of Sonoran Arts League

[dropcap]”T[/dropcap]he act of creating is a gift in and of itself, but to conceive and build something with a purpose of giving it away is beauty itself. Across the North Valley, artists have been doing just that as they fire clay molds and glass to create some of the most beautiful, unique bowls for this year’s Foothills Empty Bowls Lunch and Art Auction to honor World Hunger Day.

Each bowl will be sold to raise much-needed funds for Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center. The food bank is currently serving about 500 families per month, many of whom are seniors struggling to live on fixed incomes. If current trends continue, that number is expected to grow by about 10 percent next year.

Sonoran Arts League of Cave Creek, a 750-plus-member art community, is the driving force behind the Oct. 19 luncheon.

Empty Bowls is an effort to raise money for food banks across the globe. It was founded in Michigan by an artist and an art teacher so that students could make a positive difference in their communities. It spread quickly, and 19 years ago, local resident Carole Perry brought it to Cave Creek, soliciting the help of the Sonoran Arts League.

Other community contributors stepped in to offer a hand, too, including Harold’s Corral, Tech4Life, Arizona Clay, and students and educators from Saguaro and Cactus Shadows High Schools, Sonoran Trails Middle School and Paradise Valley Community College.

At Paradise Valley Community College, David Lloyd Bradley, talented and committed professor of art, has been encouraging his ceramics students to contribute for nearly two decades. This year, his expectations are more ambitious than ever, with more than 750 bowls expected to be donated from his classroom this year.

“Our students want to create the pottery for Empty Bowls that will last forever, because the bowls are symbolic of the fundraiser’s cause, which is to focus the public on the issue of world hunger,” says Bradley. “What better way than through an empty bowl that then is filled with food at the event?”

The online auction has been underway since Sept. 4 on the food bank’s website, foohillsfoodbank.com, where the first 100 fine art and craft items donate by members and friends of Sonoran Arts League are up for bid. It will remain open until 1 p.m. Oct. 19.

As has become tradition, lunch will be served at Harold’s Corral in the handmade ceramic or glass bowls. For just $15, attendees can select their own unique bowl and keep it as a lasting reminder of their contribution to end world hunger. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the food bank. Each year, the event raises approximately $20,000 to provide food and emergency assistance to local people in need.

If you would like to help, visit the Foothills Food Bank website to bid on an auction item, or come to Harold’s Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to a simple lunch served in locally made bowls, there will also be a silent art auction.

After all, receiving is so much more delicious when it is done with a giving heart.

Buy a Bowl, Feed the Hungry

Empty Bowls Lunch & Auction

Friday, October 19

11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Harold’s Corral

6895 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek

$15 donation per person