UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
By Ryan Funes
Falcon News Service
March 2, 2016
Artisans in River Falls and on the university campus are preparing clay vessels and soup for the upcoming Bowls for Hope charity event on Tuesday, March 8.
The event will continue what it has done in previous years, allowing people to donate money to a selected charity and in return pick their own handmade bowl and fill it with soup from local restaurants. Donations this year will go to Assistance & Resource Center, Inc., which gives short-term assistance to those who need help funding daily necessities. Almost all of the proceeds will be used to help the community at the center.
Bowls Coordinator Mary Van Galen said more than 200 people are involved in the event.
"The event would not be possible without everyone doing their part," Van Galen said. "That is what makes this event and community so special. We have middle school artists, high school artists, UW-River Falls students, and community artists that donate the bowls."
"There is just a tremendous amount of positive energy, generosity, and good will that surrounds this event," she added.
The past two years saw $12,825 earned in the St. Croix Valley from the event. The sale of tickets to the event contributes the most.
According to Van Galen, the bowls for the event are donated through local schools, UWRF and community artists. Students at UWRF make anywhere between 125-175 bowls for the event.
One of the people who helps supervise those who make the bowls is Eoin Breadon, assistant professor of art and the faculty adviser to the Glass Club. This is the second year club members will donate their creations to Bowls for Hope.
"It's all done on their outside class time, coming in on weekends during open studio time to make bowls," Breadon said. "They've been very excited, happy to do it, happy to be helpful, and happy to make a difference."
Making one bowl out of blown glass takes two people and about 30 minutes to two hours and depends on the shape and size of the bowl, Breadon said. It's hard enough to get glass to be shaped and curved like a bowl as it is, he said.
One of the new things being added this year is the Chef's Choice Award that will be given to the restaurant providing the best soup to the event as judged by all the other restaurants. All restaurants are local.
The Dish and Spoon Café is one such eatery and co-owner Abbie Testaberg was ecstatic at the thought of contributing another year to the charity.
"That's part of what we need to do to be present in our community and let people know who we are, and see that we are as committed to the community as they are committed to us," she said.
Bowls for Hope will run from 5-7 p.m. in the Riverview Ballroom of the University Center. Tickets are $25/adults and $5/children ages 12 and younger. Tickets are available at the River Falls Chamber of Commerce, 215 W. Maple St., or in the UWRF Chancellor's Office, 116 North Hall. Tickets also will be available at the door, but purchasing them in advance guarantees a bowl.