NACE helping to fill empty bowls

The North Anoka County Emergency (NACE) Food Shelf’s annual Empty Bowls fund-raiser took place yesterday evening (Thursday, March 15) at the Church of St. Patrick in Oak Grove, and many people from the community came out to support it.

Kevin Eldstrom, president of the Anoka-Ramsey Community College's Ceramic Guild, led the group of 15 to 20 students who made 53 ceramic bowls for the North Anoka County Emergency (NACE) Empty Bowls fundraiser. Photo by Eric Hagen

Kevin Eldstrom, president of the Anoka-Ramsey Community College's Ceramic Guild, led the group of 15 to 20 students who made 53 ceramic bowls for the North Anoka County Emergency (NACE) Empty Bowls fundraiser. Photo by Eric Hagen

“It’s really grown,” said Sue Rylander of Andover, whose favorite part of the event is trying out the soups. This year NACE served chicken and wild rice soup and chili. “It’s become a real fun event to come to,” she said.

Final proceeds are still being calculated, but according to NACE Director Joanne Yackel, NACE has raised over $6,000 as of Tuesday morning (March 20). Included in that total is $745.50 raised from the auctioning of ceramic bowls made by an Anoka-Ramsey Community College students.

The Anoka County Farm Bureau donated $500. The check was presented to Yackel by Anoka County Farm Bureau Vice President Juanita Reed-Boniface.

The Empty Bowls fund-raiser is sponsored by the Lions and Lioness clubs of Cedar-East Bethel, Ham Lake, Oak Grove and St. Francis. Other volunteers including Boy Scouts from Troop 511 helped out. Ceramic bowls that were included in the silent auction were mostly made by students at Anoka-Ramsey, but Andover High School students also made some of the bowls.

Kevin Eldstrom, president of the Anoka-Ramsey Ceramic Guild, said the group of 15 to 20 planned for and made 53 bowls over a month’s period. Although the ceramic and glaze of a bowl may be similar, Eldstrom said the appearance can change drastically depending on which area of the kiln the ceramic bowl is put in when heated.

Many other items were included in the auction, which is the favorite part of the event of St. Francis Lions Club member Don Hiller. He also loves making the popcorn for people to have a post dinner snack.

“When I made the popcorn everyone knows it,” Hiller said. “They come out of the woodwork because of the smell.”

The NACE Food Shelf is located in East Bethel at 18511 Highway 65 N.E. The distribution hours are 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays, 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and 8 to 11 a.m. on Thursdays.

If you are interested in volunteering for NACE, call 763-434-7685.

Click here to purchase photos taken at the Empty Bowls event.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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