Thursday, April 21, 2011

Empty Bowls Raise Big Bucks!

On Saturday, April 9, the streets of Lake Worth swarmed with 200 hungry donors, all participants in this year’s Haitian Empty Bowl Fundraiser. The funds raised were for the Art Creation Foundation for Children in Jacmel Haiti. On Monday, April 18, at a check signing ceremony at Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery of Downtown Lake Worth, a check for $3200 was turned over to Judy Hoffman, representative of the foundation. Also present at the ceremony were Mayor Rene Varela, Gail Pasternack, and Joyce Brown who presented the check to the foundation. Photographer Durga Garcia recorded the event.

On April 9, over 200 visitors stopped into the Clay Glass Metal Stone, picked up hand made bowls donated by dozens of Palm Beach County artists, and began a feeding frenzy throughout the downtown Lake Worth restaurant district. Visitors began lining up for their bowls at 8:00 AM. The event began at 10AM. Favorite bowls of all shapes and sizes were chosen. From 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM hundreds of folks criss-crossed the streets over-stuffing themselves with some of the most delicious foods Palm Beach County has to offer. The three participating Pizza restaurants, Rotelli’s, Downtown Pizza and My Spot Pizza on Federal Highway evoked mass discussion on which was the best Pizza in town. La Bonne Bouche served large portions of potent Rum Cake while next door the Cottage set up a buffet with a variety of salads and pasta. Over on Lake Avenue folks zigzagged down the corridor from Fionentio’s to Dave’s Last Resort to Brogue’s Irish Bar feasting on spicy sausage and pasta dishes, corn and shrimp chowder and Italian specialties. After a break to allow the food to settle they progressed on to Dolce Vita where wine samplings and chocolate were the order of the day and the Rum Shack for a pasta offering. On to the Java Juice Bar and Nature’s Way Café for smoothies. Heading East they stopped at Paws on the Avenue to pick up treats for their cats and dogs. Kilwin’s offered delicious ice cream and chocolate treats, Too Jays, cookies and Rita’s, Italian Ice, a refreshing cold treat on a hot day. Across the street in the Cultural Plaza the Taco Lady filled the bowls with a variety of Tex-Mex goodies.

Potters and Clay artists throughout Palm Beach County contributed over 300 bowls to the event. Gail Pasternack topped the list creating over sixty bowls. In addition, thirty of her closest friends participated in the event. Tracy Rosof-Petersen and John McCoy made thirty bowls each for the fundraiser and members of the Palm Beach Ceramic League collectively brought in over fifty.

Representing the city of Lake Worth, Mayor Rene Varela joined the celebration as the funds raised were turned over to Judy Hoffman, representative of the Art Creation Foundation for the children of Jacmel Haiti. The children range in age from six to sixteen years and are the subject of a Nick News documentary with Linda Ellerbee, "Haiti Rising? Life in the Ruins. What's it like to be a kid in Haiti, a year after a devastating earthquake? ” The children are learning to become self-sustaining and to live cooperatively within their community through their participation in the creation of art.

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