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Bowls for Hope

UW-River Falls Bowls for Hope Event Raises $5,500 for Community Food Pantry 

May 2, 2012 – The University of Wisconsin-River Falls hosted the third annual Bowls for Hope event March 27 in the University Center, raising $5,500 for the River Falls Community Food Pantry. 

Each year, UWRF works with the community to raise funds through Bowls for Hope for a worthy organization that makes a difference in the St. Croix Valley. The RFC Food Pantry, a River Falls-based charity operated 100 percent by volunteer manpower, provides food in times of need to those in our community. It witnessed a 22 percent increase in visits and a 33 percent increase in food distribution in 2011. "The timing of this event and money that was raised this year will help the RFC Food Pantry through its historically toughest months, summer," says Janna Carl, executive director of the River Falls Community Food Pantry. "We cannot thank enough the Bowls for Hope committee and the community for all of its hard work and support." 

For an entrance fee of $20 per adult and $5 for children 12 and under, participants at the event selected and kept a bowl that was created in ceramic/pottery classes at UWRF, River Falls High School, Meyer Middle School, the Renaissance Academy, or by area artists. Attendees then sampled, at no extra charge, soups donated and served by area restaurants. Guests at the event voted for their favorite soup of the evening and the winner was the African Spice Vegetable-Saffron Cream with Injera Bread from The Westwind Supper Club. 

Artists contributing bowls for the event were Doug Johnson, Ingrid Bjerstedt-Rogers, Bob Fritz, S.C. Rolf, Diane Webster, Joe Singwald, Doug Peterson, Bob Brodersen, Wendy Olson, Ben Gavin, Jay Jensen, Jennifer King, Michael Luethmers, Dan Nistler, Scott Zeinert, Randy Johnston, Jan McKeachie-Johnston, Robin Kelley, Randy Johnston's class at UWRF, Anne Buchholz's class at the Renaissance Academy, River Falls High School pottery classes taught by Gina Pedriana-Basche, and Beth Kenseth's class at Meyer Middle School.

"Twenty-five advanced ceramics arts students contributed five bowls a piece to this important community project," says Randy Johnston, professor and chair of the UWRF Art Department. "The students were exceptionally enthusiastic and beautifully crafted bowls." "As a potter in River Falls for some fifty years, it was fun to contact my friends in the art community," says Douglas Johnson, UWRF emeritus professor of art. "To a person they were as generous as they can be."

Participating restaurants were Sodexo Dining Services, Dish & the Spoon Café, Junior's Bar & Grill, Paddy Ryan's Irish Pub & Restaurant, Perkins Family Restaurant, South Fork Café, Wet Wind Supper Club, Bo's N Mine, Copper Kettle, Coach's, and Whole Earth Co-op. "The event is a neat marriage of groups you normally don't see coming together; arts and food," says Cedric Ellingson, owner of Bo's N Mine.

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Bowls for Hope participants help out in Randy Johnston's Pottery class.

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Group shot of Randy Johnston's 2012 pottery class and UWRF participants of Bowls for Hope.

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Area restaurant handing out soup at the Bowls for Hope event.